Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Doggy Daycare

We've always wondered what it would be like to have two dogs.  In a way, Apollo is more than enough since he's so big, but we've pondered about adding another dog to the family one day.  This past week we got the chance to experience life with two dogs under one roof.

Asha has pet sat for Hoover since he was a young pup.  Now that she's out of the neighborhood she was still willing to pet sit for him over the week but it would be a pretty tiring commute from Salisbury, passing our house, and going to South Charlotte. We suggested to Hoover's family that he should just come live with us for a week.  They were up for it so... we went with it!

Meet Hoover.

The first night Hoover joined our household he was not a happy camper. You know how when a little kid is somewhere they don't want to be, so they basically hate everything? That was Hoover. He constantly growled at Apollo and wouldn't even look him in the eye!  He paced and paced just wanting to go back home.  Apollo, being the laid back giant that he is, didn't know what to do with all his movement. Watching him pace probably made Apollo tired. He really just wanted to play, but once he heard the growls he just gave up. The funny part about it all - we think Hoover was actually a little intimidated by Apollo and his size. Hoover really wanted no part of playing with him.

Day by day, Hoover got better and better.  No more growling at Apollo and no more pacing! We didn't think the dog would ever just lay down to sleep. They managed to take walks together, take car rides together, and entertain each other during the day.  I think Apollo enjoyed Hoover the most while we were at work.  We should've set up a camera to see what they did all day. We imagined them having some sort of conversation... probably something like this:

"Man... why do you keep growling at me?" asked Apollo.
"Why are you talking to me? I don't like you," responded Hoover.
"Just trying to be nice. Wanna play with my rope?"
"Wanna rassle?"
"Are you hot? Why are you panting so much?"
"Why are you asking me so many questions?! Just leave me alone!"
"Just sayin'... we gotta play now cuz once my parents get home, they just walk us and then we're pretty much done. My dad usually gets home first, takes me for a walk, maybe plays a little bit depending on if I'm good. He hates it when I don't come back on the leash. It makes me giggle... until he punishes me."

In reality, we're pretty sure they just slept all day.

It was pretty nice having Hoover around.  On his last day here, he actually started to play.  With us... not Apollo.  We think if he were given at least another week here, he would have warmed up and played with Apollo eventually.

Best Friends but not really.  This picture is misleading.
Although it was a little overwhelming having two dogs at the beginning, it became easier as the week went on. In a perfect world, we could get our second dog and it would already be trained and get along with Apollo.  The house feels so quiet now that Hoover is gone. Having him for a week helped us realize we'd love to have a brother or sister for Apollo. It would probably be another big dog, preferably a Mastiff. We'll be looking for more practice so if you're lookin' for someone to take care of your four legged friends this summer, give us a call. Maybe your dog can come live with us for a week!

Come back and visit us Hoover!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hip Hop Hoorayyyyyyyyyyyyyy....

....Hoooooooo Heyyyyyyyy Hooooooooo.

I ran my first 5k since December.  It felt good to be back in the racing scene, brand new age group and all! I decided to do the Bunny Run 5k with my BFF and friends from work.  I loved the course last year so I was excited to get back on the pavement once again.

It felt like the runner participation doubled from last year.  The race is run on the Les Myers Greenway in Concord which is pretty narrow for 350 people all at once.  Needless to say, it was a little hard to maneuver at the start of the race.  Once we weaved our way through, it got better.  I still managed to have a slow time.  4 minutes slower that last year!!  I'm slackin'.  I need to pick up the pace!  

I had fun regardless of my running time.  Jeremy and I brought along Apollo and Hoover (dog we are pet sitting).  I love bringing Apollo to races since it gets people talking to us and it wears him out for the rest of the day.  He also enjoys socializing with other people and dogs.  He likes the attention.  Hoover enjoyed mingling with everyone as well.

Sairy, Sianneth, and I got into the Bunny Run Spirit and turned into little bunnies ourselves.  Bunny ears and cotton tails were worn :) Bow ties came with the ears but we didn't really feel like wearing them.  I didn't want to put them to waste so the dogs volunteered to dress up too!
Bunny Running Crew!

Ha! I love Sianneth's face in this.

Friends from work came to run too!

I hope everyone has a happy Easter!  This is my last one as a Little!

Monday, April 18, 2011

BBQ Tour 2011

As many of you know, I like to spend my many hours during the summer gorging on some delicious slow-cooked pulled pork barbecue. Love it so much I blogged about some of the tasty plates I was so lucky to clean on my own, personal barbecue tour of Charlotte. I will admit, I wasn't able to get to EVERY restaurant I wanted to get to. Believe it or not, gas prices tend to inflate during the summer months and that keeps me a little closer to home. With that said, I will gladly recommend Jim 'n Nick's and Mac's (my 2 favorites in Charlotte) to anyone in search of some tasty barbecue.

The summer of 2011 is quickly approaching which leads me to the obvious question - What's next? So I come to you, my fellow bloggers and blog-readers, what should I do this summer to let my taste buds dance for joy and help myself gain a few pounds? Here are some options I've thought of:

  1. Take the hit in the wallet and venture outside of Charlotte for some great barbecue! I don't necessarily want to leave the state, but I would like to do a good comparison between Eastern and Western styles.
  2. Every restaurant I went to for barbecue last summer also served ribs. Guess what -- I also LOVE me some ribs! The thought of eating ribs all summer literally made my stomach rumble and my mouth water.
  3. You know the show, "The Best ____ I Ever Had" on Food Network? If you don't know what I'm talking about, the show basically has about 4-5 of the top chefs on the network sit and talk about the best something they've ever had (burger, meat, seafood, breakfast, etc). So I was thinking, I've got lots of friends who like to eat. What if all summer I take suggestions from a friend/reader on the best _______ they've ever had (in Charlotte), then go with them to that restaurant and taste for myself? Not gonna lie, this idea is growing on me.
Ok, those are 3 options that I've mulled over lately. Tying in with option #3, I would like to do at least SOME of this summer tour with another witness or 2. I had TONS of fun eating all of that barbecue last summer, but it was unfortunate that I couldn't share more of the experience with others. So please, join me this go around and share some good times and good food with me!

Happy Eating!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wedding Nightmares

Dun dun dunnnnn...wedding nightmares.  If you've been a bride or are currently a bride-to-be, I'm sure you have been in my shoes.  There is nothing fun about wedding nightmares.  You wake up in a tizzy and you get even more flustered about your big day.

Let me tell you, I have had my fair share of these horrific dreams.  They started early for me.  I believe I had my first one last summer.  It's so funny to me that I remember them so vividly.  They would always reflect what project I was worried about most at the time.  I've had nightmares about having no photographer, no makeup, wrong hair, wrong venue, no flowers, wrong groom!, wrong wedding party, even wrong day!!!  You name it, I've dreamt it.  It's all pretty comical now that I think of it.

Anyways, last night was the first night where I had, well, just a wedding dream {gasp!}.  No nightmare!  It was a dream where everything came together and ran smoothly.  My sister was by my side.  My hair was right.  I even remembered to pack my bags for our honeycruise!  I was so pleased with this dream that I woke up all happy and giddy...and not able to go back to sleep.  The birds have been chirping (literally) and singing a happy song since 3am.  I've been awake since then and I think my body is going to hate me later this afternoon.

I guess my mind is starting to come to an ease now that everything is slowly but surely coming together.  What a great feeling this is.  Could this be a dream that actually comes true?!

Wow. That last line was really cheesy.  I apologize.  Please forgive me ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A day at the Lion's Den

Freelancing is quite an occupation. I wouldn't consider myself a freelancer, but every once in a blue moon I'll do a side project for a lil' extra cash. Usually these side projects are for a friend or a friend's friend and there isn't much cash involved, and that's OK with me. Surprisingly, helping people means a little more to me than making money, so I would rather use the little skills God gave me to help someone finish/create/write/paint/etc. something for cheap, than make that kind of work my actual job (but don't be crazy... it IS all about the Benjamins...)

Well, a "blue moon" occurred a couple of weeks ago - Asha was able to get my name out there at "The Lion's Den" aka Food Lion to help them with a project for their other grocery store chain, Bloom. Needless to say, this was the biggest freelancing job I've ever had. So I wanted to impress. I was needed to help draw some things for their upcoming company pep rally... thing. Anyway, I was told that I would draw some life-sized Bloom products, etc. and there would be another artist with me. So I'm like, "you wanna pay me to draw some stuff? Yup, that's cool with me."

So... I get there and things quickly start to go downhill. I won't bore you with too many specifics, but no one seemed to know anything. The first security guard had no clue why I was there or what I was supposed to be working on. The next security guard supposedly knew what was going on, but definitely sent me to the wrong place. I get to the wrong place and the receptionist and ANOTHER security guard are clueless! (side note: why in the world does Food Lion headquarters have SO MUCH security? You should see all of the check-throughs you have to go to for this place. I actually walked around to see if there was ANYTHING I'd want to swipe... nothin'. What are they protecting?! There must be a vault with tons of money... or they actually have real lions in there somewhere they don't want any outsiders to know about)

So the other artist (who was cool, I liked working with him) and I finally get in contact with someone who actually knew what was going on. He was part of the HR department for Bloom. He drives from Chapel Hill to Salisbury roughly 3 times a week (and I thought Asha had it bad... which she does, haha). We discover that we're actually creating the "costumes" and set for some skit they're performing at the rally. It would've been nice to know that simply so I could've prepared myself better. There's a big difference between drawing on an 8 1/2" x 11" and a poster board. Also, it would've been nice to know we would be working in a warehouse... without tables... on dirty floors. So I messed up my nice khaki pants and, most importantly, my SHOES! 
Dirty Shoes

Not gonna lie, I was a bit peeved about that one. LUCKY FOR THEM I was able to clean my kicks. I takes my Nikes seriously. So anyway, I'm ruining clothes while drawing on the stupid dirty warehouse floor and then I meet a couple of the Bloom employees. They were all pretty nice. One in particular (her name is Kate) made me laugh. You know how you hear about someone, but have never met them, then one day you finally meet that person and know so much about them, but they know nothing about you... haha.  Kate "knew" me... I had no idea who she was. What made me chuckle was how she basically introduced herself "Kate who reads the blog and knows all about the wedding". I felt bad because I wasn't exactly sure how to respond (I'm not the most talkative person) so I hit her with my go-to response, "...cool." I said some other things, but yeah, that's that.

Sorry, most of you probably didn't care much bout the previous paragraph. That's my bad. Ok, so here's the list of things we needed to draw:
  1. a fish
  2. a Seafood stand
  3. a store shelf with "Gluten-free products"
  4. a big Gluten-free cookie
  5. the product locator map (these are located on Bloom's shopping carts)
  6. the touch screen kiosk that gives you coupons tailored to your shopping habits (kinda cool)
I think that was it. We were given pretty much any materials we needed (kinda funny, the one thing I really wanted was a pencil sharpener... which we didn't have). The entire process wasn't too bad. Once we were left alone on day 2, we were able to finish up pretty quickly. Overall, it was a nice experience. I was able to see some of Asha's co-workers again, at least to cool ones - shout out to G-Money (that's Greg), Big Mike (that's Mike) and Eazy-E (that's Elyse). I also got to see where the Lion's Den employees like to eat lunch (it's at a restaurant called Palms Cafe). So yeah, now I can picture the places and desks and security whenever Asha talks about work.

So that was my latest freelancing experience. It's always nice doing a lil' somethin' not in my regular routine. It may have sounded like I complained throughout this blog (and I did), but I would totally do it again if they asked. I DID have fun, met some new people, and did a little networking. Also, if you need a good artist, check out Bryan Fowler. This is the guy I worked with, cool guy, great artist. So if you ever find yourself saying, "man I've got this art/video/whatever kind of work I'd really like to get done, but I'm definitely on a budget. It'd be great to just hire a cool, handsome, totally awesome freelancer for this..." call me up!

Some of the pics:




Seafood Stand

P.S. - Bloom has yet to pay me... umm... yeah, let's get on that, guys.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Return to Sender

Well, I did it! I got the invitations out on time! Woohoo {insert happy dance}. It took countless trips to Michaels, three trips to Paper-Source, eight rolls of double-sided tape, an envelope crisis, and a post office crisis. Alas, I got it done and I am absolutely in LOVE with how they turned out. I hope the post office handles them with care.

Your invites were definitely made with lots of love from Jeremy, Apollo, and I. I bet your wondering how the heck I got those two involved. Keep reading and I'll tell ya :)
Workin' hard putting the invites together

It took some begging but Jeremy finally gave in. He has the best hand writing out of the two of us (in my opinion) so he was the lucky one to address all the envelopes. I have to thank him everyday until the wedding for doing that.
I made sure to make proof that he helped
Believe it or not, Apollo helped out too! He had plenty of slobber stored up to help seal the envelopes. ;) Haha I kidd, I kidd. Instead, he slept the whole time.

Not much help at all
I'm going to wait to post what the invitations look like. I want our guests to see them first before they see the blog. You'll just have to sit tight for a few weeks. 

Wouldn't it be awesome if these guys showed up to our wedding?! I'm hoping for a response of some sort. Fingers crossed!!! I don't know what I'd do if Jason Mraz showed up to our wedding....a girl can dream can't she?
Hand drawn by Jeremy of course

Monday, April 4, 2011

2 Months To Go!

Today marks two months until we are Mr. and Mrs.!

I haven't had a bridezilla moment quite yet.  It's probably brewing though.  Jeremy might push me to bridezilla mode since he STILL hasn't gone to finalize details about tuxes.  I think he wants to stress me out.  I have to give him credit though.  He has been AWESEOME at helping me out with wedding tasks.  I'll nag him a couple more times but I know eventually he'll get it done.  I just have to be patient.

April is going to be a crazy busy month. I've got to work every weekend for my part time job, pet sit, figure out flower arrangements, start creating center pieces, design programs, begin writing my vows, send out invitions, figure out what the heck I'm gonna do with my crazy hair, yada, yada, yada. The list goes on.  I hope I survive.

Once I get through April, I will be able to breathe again.  May will be much calmer and hopefully wayyyy more fun!  I've got a bachelorette party, bridal shower, and a photo shoot with my bridesmaids to look forward to!

My goal is to NOT be a bridezilla about this whole thing.  I think it's something I can accomplish.  I can do this.