25 September 2013

Our Big Little Garden

We've been living here for almost three weeks so I think it's time to finally share some of our house with everyone! If you follow me on instagram you've already seen glimpse of our fantastic yard but I promise there's even more to see.

One of the selling points of this rental was that there was a big yard with actual grass. All of the houses we had been looking at either had no yards, a tiny yard, or no grass -- none of which really worked with our family. I missed my parents yard and knew how much easier it was going to make life with the dogs. I also wanted to be able to have somewhere to keep gardening and actually eat dinner outside. Then we found this house and all was well.

I had a teary goodbye to a tomato plant I'd been nurturing since before the wedding and finally had a bunch of little green tomatoes before we left. The poor thing would have never survived our cross country road trip so I gave it to my favorite people in the whole wide world -- my grandparents. It got a great home. Nevertheless it was depressing, so you have to believe my utter excitement when we walked in the gate and saw our yard and the biggest tomato plant with the largest tomatoes ever was just sitting there. I'm in heaven.

We have plumerias, hibiscus, roses, basil, limes, about 5 different types of peppers that I don't know how to use, eggplants and so much more. And our neighbors have an apple tree and the apples are red but they aren't picking them. I'm trying to work up the nerve to go knock on their door and ask to pick them, but, I'm terrified that they're going to look at me like I'm crazy and say no.

Here are some pictures. If you're ever in California please come visit. I would love to have guests over to sit at our table with some lemonade or mojitos and just talk. (I'm feeling a bit homesick).

We have tons of peppers and veggies that were growing in the yard. Our neighbors also have an apple tree that I was planning on picking from, but, they picked them all a few days ago. 

We have so many different types of flowers blooming! 

We're decorating for fall/Halloween this weekend so you can expect some fabulous festive pictures sometime soon. And next week you might just get to see the inside of our home. Eek!

19 September 2013

Stella Rose

So, we got a puppy.

Well, we've actually had a puppy for almost three months now (!) and I'm just getting around to fully introducing her to everyone in internet world. We weren't supposed to get a puppy. Nic and I have been on opposite ends of the spectrum with getting another dog for quite a bit and during our honeymoon we made a bet. And I won. And we therefore were supposed to wait until we found somewhere to live in California, move, and then possibly get a puppy.  But my husband somehow has a way of convincing me and no one can really say no to a cute little puppy.

On our stop home after our honeymoon we ventured to the pound with my parents, found a dog named Benjamin who I absolutely loved and pray got adopted and then realized we couldn't get an already full grown blue tick hound home with us on an airplane without paying an arm and a leg. And so poor Benjamin had to stay behind and it still breaks my heart.  Then we started looking all over and found some really cute Australian Shepherds but couldn't find one with a tail (a necessity), some adorable hound mixes but we didn't want any part of pit in a dog we got and they seemed to have a little bit. And then one evening we found an ad for Stella and her sister.  And, well, the rest is history.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't think she is absolutely adorable and a great dog. I'd also be lying if I said we got off to a perfect start, it was actually pretty rough.  The first two days we had her I was horribly sick and stuck in bed all day so she became super attached to Nic. Which is fine, except we didn't bond at all. I thought she was cute but she'd pick on Eevah which I wasn't okay with. And then we had to fly her back to Maryland with us -- which was fantastic (I'm telling you, the calming tablets I mentioned in our cross country trip work wonders). Nic started work the day after we got home and all of a sudden it was just Eevah, Stella and I and we ran into some hefty problems. She cried as soon as he left at 5am and wouldn't stop, she wouldn't listen to me for potty training and she was trying to eat Eevah constantly.  I will forever have a scar on my knee from her horrible puppy claws and inability to understand she isn't allowed on the couch.  I called Nic crying more than once that first week.
Thankfully some homemade toys (aka water bottles), teaching her how to take something without acting like a blessed piranha and Eevah sticking up for herself got us all on the right foot. The cross country trip and this fabulous new house and yard has helped SO much and I'm so happy she's here.  She also learned how to give paw which is just the cutest thing ever.
It's crazy to look back at photos and see how much bigger she has gotten. Eevah got bigger, but her change was from 1.6 to 8.1 pounds. Stella has gone for 16.8 to 55! It's absolutely crazy.  Both of her parents were bigger so she should get to a pretty decent size once she's full grown.  I LOVE the differences of her barks. When she's playing with us and/or Eevah, it's a softer and more playful but as soon as she hears something she doesn't like she has such a deep and scary sounding bark.  It's fantastic.
She adores swimming which we encourage and digging which is a constantly battle. A dog that actually LOVES to dig and isn't doing it because she's "bored" and looking for an outlet brings forth a major issue when renting a home with a gorgeous yard. I feel like grass like ours isn't something you encounter a lot in Cali and we'll probably not get back out security deposit if it's all dug up. She also adores real bones or bones that have some kind of flavoring on them, the smell of which makes me want to gag. But we're figuring it out (aka I'm sitting far away from her while she's chewing on the bones).  She loves to sit with me in the yard and she's realized she can pull pieces off the palm tree to chew on.  She's really a cutie pie and a perfect addition to our little family.

17 September 2013

An Etsy Shop

A few months ago I decided to jump the gun and make an Etsy shop.  I had previously worked at an invitation store and loved it and while I have only had part time jobs since then I can't help but compare everything I do to my job at Parchment, and every other job has fallen short. Once I finally realized this (thanks to my mom and husband) I put my obsession with Etsy and my love for making stationary together and have since opened Kamariah Papaya Prints. It's a great idea but our wedding and moving cross country put it on the back burner and only now that we are finally starting to settle into our home am I truly able to give it the attention that it needs.

I have big dreams for my little Etsy shop. I want to open a store full of trinkets and invitations and cute vintage pieces where customers can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while we try to put their visions onto paper. Since that won't happen for many many moons I would like to invite you to pour yourself a cup of coffee (or water, or wine) and go visit my Etsy shop. It's a work in progress, but I would love to help my friends rediscover the art of note writing.  Don't underestimate the happiness that snail mail brings. Yes, that's slightly cheesy but it is entirely true.

Since our new home is a reason for celebration, everything in the shop is 15% off for the rest of the month by entering CALIFORNIA at check out!

Go take a peak, and email me or comment if you have something custom in mind! I would love to bring your idea to life, even if it is us talking over the internet instead of over a cup of coffee.

Click here to go my shop!

12 September 2013

Escaping Eevah

disclosure: For all you non-dog-folk, this is probably coming off super weird and crazy, but our dogs are like our children. That's the easiest explanation I can give. 

I love our miniature dachshund more than I can rightly explain. We got Eevah at the perfect time; I was over the long distance part in our relationship and was having an absurd time dealing with it.  I have amazing friends but I needed someone that would always be there and could listen to me without getting sick of it and after a year of searching, begging and pleading we finally found Eevah right around our fifth anniversary.

This little dog has been the best, and worst thing in the world. She was a horror with potty training and still has her off days. While they are far and in-between, it always takes me back to the agonizing days we went through. She's a really special dog though. She's the cutest beggar, best listener, and a perfect cuddle bug. She bark when she hears something and it's a bark that makes her sound a lot bigger than 8 pounds. And she doesn't dig -- something Stella just loves to do. But there's one major negative about Eevah. She loves to escape.

We found this out after my dad trusted Eevah outside in our backyard at home. I don't know how many times that little wiener dog somehow got out under the fence and ran around my neighbors houses. But we live in a development at home. It's safe. There's quite a few houses and streets before you get to any road. Once we moved out here one of the first things my dad said was to not let Eevah outside without a leash. I was following this advice but then Stella began to comprehend that "Stella get Eevah" meant to get her away from the one part of the fence where she could escape. The three of us were in perfect harmony, when I wanted to water the plants or prune something I would let them run around the yard to get some energy out and not really have to worry. Eevah didn't try to escape and even when she went in that corner Stella would coral her away from it.  Then enter Monday. I was happily pruning my mint plant when I heard Eevah barking outside of our gate in our neighbors yard.

The next few minutes were full of me chasing her down a main road, both of us running out in front of oncoming traffic, a malfunctioning pajama top and my super glued glasses completely falling apart. The only reason I was able to catch her was due to my hollering catching the attention of our neighbors (and the cars that we ran out in front of) and people actually stopping to help. An extremely nice woman pulled her car perpendicular on one of the roads in an attempt to spook Eevah back from Palm, the main road here when I'm more than positive she would have been hit. It thankfully worked and her need to bark at every dog caused her to bark at a husky behind a fence allowing me to belly flop on her.

There are really three lessons to be learned from Eevah's latest escape. Always listen to your parents, introduce yourself to your neighbors in a normal setting to avoid being introduced while looking like a crazy head, Eevah will never be allowed out without a leash.

I hope y'alls week has been a little less eventful. If you have a four legged friend give them an extra squeeze and remember to keep them on a leash. This definitely was a very large reality check to our family.

I'll leave y'all with a picture of Eevah at the Grand Canyon.


06 September 2013

Short Hair

Most of y'all already know my hair's short. But for those of you who don't. Well, I chopped a decent amount  of my hair off.

My husband is as indecisive as I am about my hair length. Important and big events? We like it long. Regular life? He's a short fan. So a move to the opposite side of the country prompted me to just change it all. Except the color, I'm as stubborn as a mule on keeping my color natural.

Hope ya like it. Have a splendid weekend. I'm determined to spend a decent time at the beach.


PS - If anyone is already starting to plan their Christmas gifts, I would love a little Polaroid camera! I mean how cute is that picture?!

05 September 2013

Our Cross Country Move

I think every American has "take a cross country road trip" somewhere on their bucket list. Personally, I've always wanted to drive across the country in a convertible stopping at all those crazy World's Largest _______ sites, eating bad food, and listening to the throw back songs.

We're lucky enough to have been forced into such a trip as we relocated to California a week ago. While it wasn't my comfy convertible trip it was interesting to fit a 45 lb German Shepherd puppy, 8 lb dachshund who hates car trips, Nic and I all in the cab on a Penske truck for five days. 
And we're off
Our first day started off with a bang as we left later than we intended. The Speed Limit of 55 with our tow had us starting out driving conservatively, but when we couldn't go faster than 35 without feeling like we were going to die we knew something was up. Cue a late night gas stop in the middle of nowhere Maryland and we discovered that the straps that were supposed to keep my car on this partial tow were off -- one had completely snapped. We definitely had a guardian angel watching over us in the fact that we have no idea how long they were snapped off and we should have lost my car. A visit from a Penske rep that couldn't do anything to help us, an hour and a half of sleep in my car, and a 45 minute drive in two separate vehicles later we were finally in Storybrooke's real life sister town (cue Once Upon A Time reference) and at a pet friendly hotel. Like ninnies we didn't check the new tow when we got it that night and the next morning we came to find out that my car wasn't compatible with the tow they brought. Another 45 minutes coffee-less in two separate vehicle drive we were looking at a full car tow and finally on our way. We didn't get out of Maryland until a whole days worth of traveling. It was awful.

Our first attempt. I didn't even take a picture of the second tow disaster. I was too peeved to do anything but eat some cookies to calm down (how I wish I was kidding. .) 
Our final working tow and truck, thank goodness
Stella trying to get comfy in the backseat while we were trying to find a hotel
Other than that little big hiccup the trip went smoothly. If anyone ever has to travel long trips in tight quarters with a hyper puppy, or just a dog that hates traveling I have an amazing all natural calming treat that I completely and whole heartedly recommend. Eevah has a bad habit of reeking like fish when stressing (cue long rides in the car) and these worked wonders for her!

On a happy note, we were able to visit the World's Largest Wind chime which is located in the cutest little town in the world. It was actually smaller (!) than I expected it to be. But still really cool! You could ring it which was pretty snazzy, but our little wind chime outside our dining room door has a much better song. We tried to find the World's Largest Golf Tee, which is located in the same little town, but somehow couldn't. Oh well.

World's Largest Windchime!
As far as the states go Texas has to have been my least favorite. We got hit with a terribly frightening hail the size of golf ball storm in the middle of a sunny afternoon, only saw tan sand and cows everywhere, and it didn't smell that great. They did have a lot of wind turbines though which was actually really cool!
The wind turbines of Texas
My all time favorite stop was the Grand Canyon.  I've wanted to go on a camping trip to the canyon since senior year of high school but it just hasn't been in the cards so being able to go see it was such a dream.  We got there right before sunset and on the way in we saw three elk!!! I had been searching since we saw the first sign to no avail and it was so incredibly exciting! I think I scared poor Nic with how loudly I shrieked.

We did a little research before we left to make sure we were able to bring the dogs into the park with us since most National Parks aren't really pet friendly. You're allowed to walk your dogs along the South Rim trails which is actually where most people go anyways. It's the main visitor center and while the Northern Rim supposedly offers better views (I'm not sure how) it's harder to get to.  We were surprised by how many dogs we saw! We ran into another medium sized dogs and three little pooches which was kind of fun. It's definitely worth stopping at even if you have the pooches. They're not allowed below the rim so they're going to have stay home when we do my promised camping trip.

Our happy little family
Lion King rerun

While we were driving through the desert I thought I saw writing in the sand and started to worry that I hadn't had enough water. I wasn't drinking as much as I should have been and genuinely thought it was a possibility, so I calmly turned to Nic and asked him if he was seeing them too -- and he was. It seems that people were stopping along Route 66, picking rocks and forming fun messages in the sand. After much convincing and checking to make sure it wasn't too hot (the high for that day was 120!!!! - irjirotjr) he pulled over and we got to form our own little note. He wrote down the mile and we're going to try and go back next time we're driving to add a new year, and paint the rocks.

Searching for rocks
I promise it says N + K with 13 underneath
The trip was so much fun and I can't wait to take another road trip, maybe this time without the Penske truck and tow? We had such a good time and realized (like we didn't already know) we worked together really well.

Until next time.