Why buy when I can DIY…

Super excited that I finally got around to finishing this project.  It’s something that’s been on my to-do list ever since we brought Karla home back in July.  With the adoption, we received a free collar and leash from the spcaLA that worked fine, and most importantly, didn’t cost a cent!  I quickly grew tired of looking at it, though, as I felt it was drab and didn’t give her any pizazz.  Yes, I could save myself the trouble and just buy a new leash for cheap, but why not make it personal and one-of-a-kind?

Although it’s kind of a basic project, it was a great way of getting baimg_2219ck into crafting/sewing mode while not breaking the bank.  It requires just a few supplies, and if you wait for the right sales or coupons, it’ll hardly cost a thing.  Since it’s small and only requires a few steps, I was able to finish in a couple of hours while watching the Boo save Gotham in Arkham Knight.  I used this really cute paw print fabric, but a strip of ribbon would work and be even faster.  I figured out a few little tweaks I will try out when I make the next one.  I got all of the supplies from JoAnn, and I have some leftover fabric so I’m thinking of making a matching treat bag or new collar to match.

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I swore I’d NEVER be one of THOSE people that make a fuss about my furbaby’s accessories, and yet, here I am.  I’ve already made a trial beanie and sweater that just needs some tweaking to the patterns for a little better fit.  I was so busy during the holidays that I didn’t have time to take progress pictures or blog about it, but I did post it to Instagram.  I was pleasantly surprised when the JoAnn Fabric and Craft account asked to repost it on their page!  Someone even asked if there was a pattern!  It definitely gave me a little confidence boost.  I hate the color of the yarns, but I just used some scrap yarn I had on hand since it was just a sample to figure out a pattern.

Feels good to get some practice in, while also making things that are useful!

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Finding a bit of Reassurance…

One of the things I’ve realized – and definitely a huge factor in my decision to pursue working at home – is that I don’t want to miss out on my family.  Some things just aren’t worth sacrificing, and my young nieces’ childhood is something I would be heartbroken over if I had to keep pushing aside.  They’ve both been through far too much, and have seen entirely more than they should have in their short lives.  We’ve been fortunate to live together all of their lives, so unlike many aunts and uncles, I’ve been able to be there for almost all of their milestones thus far.  I’ve been able to have such a close bond with them because like many families today, we have never had the typical nuclear family household.  We have our own little unique family unit and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

With all of the craziness as of late, the girls were definitely in need of a pick-me up, and a reminder that the world is not all bad.  I wanted to remind them that love is great and the world is not just full of disappointments.  To remind them that there is plenty in the world to be happy about, and how important it is not to let anyone steal their joy.  Something that will help them learn responsibility, and give them something to look forward to when they come home. A friend they can play with and talk to when they feel alone…

…enter Karla, our little 5 yr. old Terrier Mix and newest addition to the family.

Although I had been entertaining the idea of a new dog, I hadn’t seriously considered looking at this time because my schedule just wouldn’t allow it, and if I didn’t even have time to spend with the girls, I certainly wouldn’t have time to care for a new pet.  My decision to move on from my current job fell at the perfect time, as it opened up this opportunity right as the nationwide Clear the Shelters event was going on.  I don’t even know how exactly I stumbled onto the article, but I’m so glad I did!  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an attempt to move out as many pets from the crowded shelters and find them permanent homes by reducing the adoption costs to only $20!!  I really had never considered adoption because I always had a clear idea of the exact breed I wanted and I figured I’d have to save forever in order to buy one.

We decided there wouldn’t be any harm in checking it out and we were definitely prepared for some hidden extra fee, or not finding a dog we meshed with, etc.  I can’t begin to tell you it was an amazing experience!  It was completely as advertised: $20 flat fee, vaccines and meds included, and same day take home!  I have to admit, Karla was not our first choice – initially. We went in with the idea that we wanted a puppy, nothing over 3 years.  As we were looking around, there was something about Karla that just instantly grabbed our attention.  She wasn’t playful, or outgoing, and you could see the shy nature immediately, but it’s as if she picked us.  Her calm, timid disposition just jelled right in line with our personality types and we just knew she was the one.

When we brought her home, everyone fell in love.  She is exactly what everyone needed and the girls have not left her side!  I understand why dogs are used in therapy and rehab situations because they provide such a joy to those in need.  The girls haven’t been this excited in awhile and it’s given them a renewed sense of stability and a feeling that our little mixed up family unit is complete.  Even though it’s just a tiny step, it’s given me such a reassurance as well. To know that my decision to make a change has already given me some of my life and happiness back is a great motivator to keep me pushing forward and not give up!