Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Christmas & Some Changes!

Matthew and I celebrated our first Christmas in our new home and it was great being able to decorate this year! As some of you may remember, last year we were in the process of settling on our home and leaving for our honeymoon in Aruba so we opted not to decorate our rental. Typically, my entire house is decorated on Black Friday so last year was a bit of a bust but I tried to make up for it this year. We had a few minor issues along the way, for instance, our tree was too tall for the living room which is where I intended displaying it. The tree only fit in our "formal dining room" which I say with quotes since it's really just an empty room...a future formal dining room but what could we do? 

Along with adding some festive decor to our home we also made a few changes to the living room and breakfast nook, our home is really starting to shape up! I apologize for the bad pictures, some were taken with my phone and some with my camera. Santa did bring me a DSLR camera this year so as soon as I figure out how to turn the thing on use it I'll try to take better pictures.

Welcome to our first Christmas {in the new home!}

We added more furniture to our living room and this room is so close to being complete, we still need a few throw pillows and plantation shutters but we are getting there!

Remember when it looked like this?

We made a few changes in the breakfast nook, as well!

I decided to cover our chairs with a new fabric since the white fabric was looking rather dinghy and just overall so blah!

Here's the original chair:

And after with a little stripe fabric that I got for a steal since JoAnn's Fabrics were having awesome sales!

With festive new chairs we decided to finally get some paint on our unfinished table!

Add a little paint, distress the edges and tada a "new" table:

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas, here's to more {DIYing} in the new year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The $1 Chair & Our {Belated} Weekend Recap!

There have been lots of changes going on in our house lately but based on the amount of blogging I've been doing you wouldn't know it! We've been busy enjoying ourselves and it seems as though the blog has been put on the back burner as a result. Every time I go to take pictures of our progress I remember I need to charge my camera and fail to go search for the camera cords. I did snap a few pictures on my phone so that's better than nothing, right?

This past weekend was filled with friends, family, football and diy fun! On Saturday the hubby & I attended the Army Navy football game in Philly. We had a blast watching Navy take home the Commander-in-Chief Trophy for the 11th straight year although it was a close game, for a moment there I wasn't so sure Navy was going to pull through. Luckily, the Midshipmen prevailed when freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds scored the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter!

On Sunday we had a meet and greet with a potential adopter for our sweet foster pup, Bailey. Everything went really well and the family fell in love with her and decided to adopt! We miss her so much but we're very happy we were able to help find Bailey a wonderful home. I must admit our house is way too quiet and as soon as we get back from our trip we'll be fostering another pup... or two! You may have seen my post yesterday but in case you missed it, the rescue we volunteer with, Operation Paws for Homes, is looking for more fosters! We'd love to talk with you more about it if you're interested, it's such an awesome experience and a great way to see what owning a dog is all about. The foster dog will stay with you for as little as three days to as long as a month or two depending on their situation. Even if you can only foster just once that is one more dog that doesn't have to die scared and alone in a shelter, 'tis the season after all!

Bye, bye sweet Bailey girl, we're so happy you found your "furever" home!

Once our house quieted down I got to work on an old chair I purchased at a flea market months ago for a dollar. Yep, just one dollar. At the time I wasn't really sure where I'd put the chair but I figured at the very least I could redo it then sell it on Craigslist. I'm really happy with how the chair came out and it looks really cute in our living room which is finally complete! Slowly but surely we've been buying furniture for that room and now it's all coming together, of course I don't have a picture of that but I will soon...assuming I find my camera cords :)

Here's the $1 chair before {with a dog in the background, shocker:}

And after a little primer, paint, new fabric and of course love it looks like this:

That's it for today's progress, now I need to go hunt down my camera cords so I can share more with you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Foster Homes Needed!

Fostering  abandoned and rescued dogs and puppies is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Each year, hundreds of thousands of dogs find themselves in rural shelters and have no idea why their "family" has left them at the doors of these awful places. They are tossed aside for various reasons, most of which is not their fault or own doing.

As a foster, you will be giving a second chance to a poor dog who has no advocate for them except kind hearted people like you! These dogs are saved from HIGH KILL SHELTERS with limited resources and unable to care for the number of animals that are abandoned at their doors. There is a great satisfaction in knowing that you are saving a life!

If you have ever wanted to save lives by becoming a dog's foster parent, the time is now!! You don't have to be rich. You don't have to have tons of free time. You just have to be a good person who can offer a safe and loving home to a homeless animals, and who is willing to assist a rescue in matching your foster dog with the right forever family.

The time commitment varies from a few days to several weeks. We will work with you to find the right foster pet, and we are available to answer any questions and offer support. OPH covers all veterinary expenses, preventative, collar, leash, and crates or puppy pens as needed. Even if you can only foster once, that is one more dog who will not die, alone and afraid, in the shelter.

Fostering is also a great way to help these abandoned souls and to learn more about different types of dogs and possibly find a forever dog for your family! If you are a bit nervous about owning a dog or a puppy, fostering gives you the opportunity to see what dog ownership entails. It is a great way to teach a family what to expect from dog ownership without jumping into something you might not be able to handle.

If you'd love to help but cannot foster right now there are many wonderful things you can do, such as processing applications, helping to spread the word about these deserving dogs by placing ads, coming to events to help hold dogs and talk with families, or transporting dogs to the vet or foster homes.

To inquire about fostering or assisting OPH in anyway, please contact Matthew and myself or go to OPH's website and fill out an application at

Operation Paws for Homes, Inc.
P.O. Box 90813
Alexandria, VA 22309

Here are just a few of the wonderful OPH dogs available for adoption:

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bernhardt Zoo!

Over the weekend the Bernhardt Zoo took on another pup, Tojo, a handsome two-year-old yellow lab male rescued from a high kill shelter down south. We decided to drop the o's in his name and call him TJ, which I jokingly say refers to "Tanner, jr." since they both share that adorable "block head" lab face I love! He is such a lovable dog with the sweetest disposition, he knows basic commands such as "sit", "shake" and "down." He did arrive to us rather thin, his winter coat makes him look bigger than he is but we've been feeding him a kibble/chicken and rice mixture four times a day...and with Thanksgiving just days away, we'll fatten him up in no time! If anyone is interested in TJ or would like more information on him please let us know, he is looking for his furever home!

Look at that adorable face!
We picked up TJ Saturday morning in Pikesville, Maryland which is where all of the dogs going to fosters in Maryland and Pennsylvania are dropped off {there is another location in the Northern Virgina area, as well.} It was really awesome to see how much coordination goes into transporting these dogs, it is truly remarkable considering this is organized solely by volunteers. The dogs are transported by vans and it's roughly a ten hour trip each way, this is really no easy task transporting so many dogs yet each time it is done flawlessly. Every foster is given a dog specific foster bag which contains a collar, a variety of medications, dog treats and any other information that is needed to help the dog.

We were greeted by handsome TJ and I immediately proclaimed my instant attachment to him, to which the other fosters were jokingly calling me a "foster failure", a term coined for those who end up adopting their foster dog. I couldn't help it, anyone that knows me knows I have a soft spot for labs and this guy was no exception!
It's as if he's saying "thanks for rescuing me from that horrible place!"

I was a little worried about our 40 mile drive back to Annapolis since TJ had already been in the car for ten hours but he was a champ, he just rested in the back seat patiently awaiting to go home. Once we were home all three dogs greeted him and they immediately ran out back to play! It was really wonderful watching the dogs interact, words cannot accurately describe the feeling you get knowing you helped save these wonderful dogs' lives! 

It is no easy feat getting all four dogs in the same picture! This is as good as it gets...

Once all of the excitement wore down with welcoming a fourth dog in we found out even more exciting news! Friends of ours had seen Bailey's pictures on the blog and wanted to come over for a meet and greet with their dog! We were thrilled that there was a chance Bailey's "furever" home would be with friends of ours, it doesn't get much better than that!  Bailey and their dog, Torre, got along really well and later on we found on they were going to adopt Bailey! 

Bailey's last night with us was bittersweet.

Matthew and I experienced a wide variety of emotions realizing our time with Bailey was coming to an end. Luckily for us Bailey found her "furever" with friends of ours which made saying good bye to her a little easier, in fact we've already had a little Bailey update this morning by her new family! She's doing great and adjusting really well, she is such a sweetheart and we're so happy that she has been adopted by such a wonderful family! It is definitely difficult, if not impossible, trying not to get too attached to these dogs but Matthew and I are trying really hard not to so we can continue to help more and more dogs. 

A tuckered out Bailey from playing at The Bernhardt Zoo waits for her family to arrive!

All and all fostering has been a wonderful experience so far and we truly hope to continue this for a long time. I realize I'm sounding like a broken record but I cannot say it enough, the feeling you get when you see all of the rescued dogs arrive on transport day is absolutely incredible and makes it all worth while. It's so wonderful to be apart of an organization like Operation Paws for Homes and I encourage all who are interested to seriously consider being apart of OPH's family, or any recue!

A few more pictures to share because they're just too cute...

Two tired mutts.
Sweet Bailey!

Exploring the yard while I rake the leaves...
Bailey loves snoozing in her crate!
Crazy eyes.

"Hey, any room for me?"
Guess not.

Don't forget, TJ is still looking for his furever home, could it be with you?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Meet Our Foster Dog, Bailey!

Matthew and I joined Operation Paws for Home's family over the weekend and we're so thrilled to be apart of this incredible organization that operates in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Southeastern Pennsylvania. OPH is committed to rescuing dogs from high kill shelters in the southern rural areas of the United States and finding them their "furever" homes they deserve. Sadly, these shelters do not have the resources to accommodate the large number of homeless dogs and they give the dogs three, YES THREE, days to be adopted before they are killed. Luckily, organizations like OPH do everything they can to give these animals a second chance through the help of their volunteers. Matthew and I are huge dog lovers and we decided to become foster parents so we too could help make a difference in these animals' lives. If anyone would like more information on how they can be apart of this incredible organization then you can visit their website by clicking here or by liking their Operations Paws for Homes Facebook page. We are currently fostering the sweetest female lab/hound mix dog named Bailey (on their website she is listed as Bugsy) Bailey is having a blast playing with Tanner and Gresham but she is still looking for her "furever" home and is available for adoption. She weighs 49 pounds, is somewhere between 12-18 months old, house broken, wonderful with children of all ages, dogs, cats and knows basic commands! She has the sweetest disposition and we know we're going to be able to find Bailey an incredibly loving home that she truly deserves!

Here is sweet Bailey!

If you're interested in adopting Bailey please let us know!