Puppy Love

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Without a doubt, Wyet and I are animal lovers; particularly, dog lovers. We both grew up having dogs as our family pets, and when each of us moved out on our own, we couldn't help but keep a canine in our lives. Although both of our pets were sporadic purchases, they quickly became our greatest investments.

There is something special about the love you feel for an animal. It is completely unmatched by any other love because it is a love you give without expecting anything in return. We love our pets simply for being, and they love us back in the exact same way. Although they may never know it, our pups helped us get through some of the most traumatic moments we have went through.

Wyet bought Cheech in the summer of 2008. He and Whit were just hanging out, when out of the blue they decided they needed to buy some dogs. They got online, and sure enough the first ad that they saw was from a local man selling chihuahuas. After making the call, the man told them he had but two puppies left. Sold. While Wyet hasn't elaborated on his decision to buy a puppy, I can't help but think it was a way for him to have some unconditional love and comfort during a particularly difficult time.

I bought Murphy in January 2010. It was a time when I didn't know what direction my life was going, and I felt completely alone. I went to the pet store to buy a fish and returned with a tiny white dog {and a huge dent in my credit card}. Murphy became the highlight of my days and truly helped to pull me out of the rut I was in.

Now, years later, we all make up the perfect little family. I can't imagine how vacant our lives would be without Murphy, Cheech and Rio {Wyet's pug from childhood}. They bring a livelihood to our house that truly makes it a home. From greeting us when we walk in the door to curling up at our feet at night, we love these creatures with our whole hearts.

Now to wonder, how will they act when {one day} we bring another little creature into the family? Luckily, that is years away :]

By far, the cutest thing about Murphy are his giant eyes!
Wyet with the chihuahuas when they were still so tiny!
For the longest time, Cheech's right ear would not stay up.
This little lady being extra adorable in her old age.
Though it took some time, these two have became the best of friends.
Wyet with his favorite girl.
My favorite little puppy looking extra sloppy.

The Fault in Our Stars

Saturday, January 25, 2014

For as long as I can remember, reading has always been my favorite escape. It has been one of the only constant past times I have kept over the years. Reading isn't just something I do, it is something I experience. With each book I read, the experience is different. Sometimes, I just go through the motions and read what the author has written. Then, there are those wonderful and rare books that completely encompass my attention and let my imagination run wild. It is for books like this that make reading worthwhile.

While each story affects people differently, it can be quite intimidating to suggest a book to someone. The chances that they too will have the same positive reaction is slim. Sharing a book suggestion is somewhat like sharing a bit of your heart. You never really know how they will take it. Regardless, I have the utmost confidence that my following suggestion will prove positive; read The Fault in Our Stars.

As I sit here and try and write a brief review of the book that left me weeping in both sadness and in joy, I can't find the words to give it justice. All I can say is that it is a story of love, tragedy and above all else, a story of two individuals that didn't let circumstances bring them down.

The Fault in Our Stars is a story that made me relive experiences from my own past. It helped me to remember what it felt like to fall in love for that very first time, it brought back the sensation of feeling those first-kiss butterflies and it reminded me what true heartbreak feels like. More than just a phenomenal book, The Fault in Our Stars was an awakening to so many intense feelings I had all but forgotten. To anyone that just needs to feel life a bit more vividly, this is the book for you.

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once." - My favorite line from the entire book.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Simply put, Pinterest is a tool that has helped me to discover more of the things I love. I have found quotes that state things I have been trying to find the words for. It has helped me to visualize projects that I have a difficult time piecing together on my my own, and it has inspired me to do things I have always wanted to do. To have a virtual space where I can hoard all of these thoughts, ideas and aspirations is incredible. Honestly, what did we do before we had these personal style boards?

I don't have many boards on Pinterest. Basically, I have summed up all of my interests in a few main categories: things that make me laugh, things that melt my heart, things that make me think and things that encourage me to create. Whenever I look at these boards, I am instantly uplifted and encouraged to do something {to create, to be a better person, or to, ya know, try out that cocktail recipe}.

As I was making my New Year's resolutions, I realized how I could utilize Pinterest to stick to my goals. Below I have taken a few of my resolutions and coordinated them with either an inspiring thought or a means to make them happen. Here are a few:

One of my number one goals for 2014 is to learn something new. The first place I want to start: crocheting.
Click here for link!
I want our home to tell a story; to decorate in a way that makes a statement about who we are. This year, I want to try harder to incorporate more of our bizarre style into this place we call home.
Idea found on Planet Blue
Be more appreciative of the love I have in my life; for without it, what's the point of all this?

Write more. Whether that be by blogging or journaling in my scrapbooks, I want to document more moments of my life. My simple goal is to write at least one blog post per week. My more advanced goal is to submit at least one essay for publication.

For as long and as often as possible, spend time outdoors.
By Oh So Lovely Obsessions
To feel more at peace with life, I want to do yoga at least once a week.
From book by Brian Leaf. 
Although my goals are seemingly small and insignificant, they will bring me great joy. Sometimes it's the simplest things {like attending a yoga class or saying I love you} that will make the difference in how big your smile will be. My one resolution, above all, is to remember how beautiful life is and to live accordingly.

First Comes Love

Friday, January 10, 2014

Then comes {as the saying goes} marriage. Then there are those of us that don't quite fit the mold; those of us who follow a different rhyme. What comes next for us? After much contemplation, I finally have discovered what is next in our sequence of life, simply living it.

Let me begin by stating my complete adoration for marriage {you can always find me front, center and a complete hysterical mess at weddings}. Whenever I find out of a new union of love taking place among those I know, I am completely overjoyed. To know that two people have found each other and want to spend the rest of forever with a companion they love and trust fills me with absolute joy. A wedding signifies that an unmatched happiness has been found, and everybody deserves to feel such a love.

However, things have played out a bit differently in my life. I first found love, and {as we all know} marriage didn't come next. In fact, a vast array of events happened next {including running away to a foreign country, drinking far too much and a slight latina situation} none of which remotely came close to marriage. All of which, hit spot on for life experience I so desperately was lacking.

As life passed on, as it always does, true love found its way back to me. Wyet and I have spent the past few years making each other more happy than I ever knew possible and loving every note of the beat. Needless to say, all of this love I have been surrounded by has made the topic of marriage ever present in my thoughts. Once Wyet and I moved in together, the idea of getting married seemed so close- like it was meant to be our next big step.

As my wedding pinterest board grew so did my obsession with talking about getting married. Wyet and I have had numerous conversations about where we want to get married, what type of celebration we want to have and the like. Then, suddenly, just as my wedding dream turned into an obsession, my thoughts shifted. I have come to a new understanding that a wedding isn't the ultimate goal, happiness is. And here I sit, thinking of the life I share with the one I love, and I know that my happiness is unparalleled to any other feeling I have ever felt. Though I haven't yet had a dream wedding, I have been able to live my dream.

Please don't mistake my words for a denunciation of marriage because we all know I still practice my Carissa Ingram signature when I doodle, and I think of all of the cute projects I can make with a giant monogram I letter. However, I have let go of thinking I need a marriage to validate my relationship. All I need is my other half.

The truth is, I have no idea when I will get married. Maybe it will happen 6 months from now during a private mountain retreat or maybe in 5 years at a city courthouse. Whenever it happens, I will be happily hysterical and won't be able to tell everyone quick enough. Until then, Wyet and I will continue to be two little love birds, not in a cage.

Rather than finding the perfect photo of us, I decided on this photo because it shows us in a true state of happiness, and much like our relationship, it is wonderfully imperfect.

Healthy & Homemade

Sunday, January 5, 2014

This past summer, when Wyet and I were at our peak of being great outdoors-men, I was constantly buying snacks to take on our hikes; in particular, granola bars. Granola bars were perfect for hiking days because they would supply us with the energy we needed, and they were easy enough to hurry and grab on the go. However, we began to notice these little energizers were overpriced and not as healthy as we had hoped. Thus, we forwent the store bought bars and started making our own.

When I started making granola bars, I either used recipes given to me by friends or by searching for recipes online. I soon discovered that I liked bits and pieces from different recipes so I started making my own compilation of ingredients. The great thing about doing this is that every time I make granola bars, they vary.

I hadn't made granola bars since our last days of hiking this past fall, but Wyet kept insisting that he wanted some so I decided to make a batch this morning. Unfortunately for us, I have the memory of a gnat and couldn't remember how I used to make our delicious bars so I had to start from scratch. The granola bars I made this morning {while not the same as before} turned out nicely. To avoid this forgetfulness in the future, I decided to document this little recipe:

2 cups oats
3/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup crushed almonds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and all moist ingredients in another. Combine the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and then press into a parchment lined baking dish. Bake for twenty minutes and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

In the past, I have also added chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds or a variety of other nuts in addition to the almonds. Rather than coconut oil, I have also used applesauce. Basically, I use whatever the hell I have on hand, and they always seem to turn out decent. Happy baking!

Looking Forward

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, I can't help but look back on all of the incredible memories made. It's a year that will do gown in the books as one of the most meaningful and fortunate years to date. This was the year that many of my life's puzzle pieces fell into place. It was a year of growth, love and discovery.

However, looking back on the year's past isn't what New Years is all about. Today is about looking forward. Today is the day to decide what type of person I want to be in 2014 and what I want to do with the next 12 months of my life. While I can't predict the future, I can plan for it. I plan on making 2014 just as wonderful as the previous.

As I write down my goals and look to the future, I am excited about what's to come. I am in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. I look forward to the goals we have made together and even more for the unexpected that will inevitably come. We're happy to be here 2014.

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