We’re Adopting Kittens!

Some exciting news in our little household! Timmy and I are adopting two kittens! 

Its been 2 months since our little bunny has passed away and Tim and I hate coming home to an empty house. It tears at your heart strings when you walk in, start to say hi, and realize you’re other flatmate isn’t there anymore. We are yearning to take care of some cuddly creatures.

Our good friends have been fostering the two kitties since they were tiny babies.  They are currently 5 months old and seeking their forever home.  They are absolutely adorable.  Both are full of energy and are very cuddly, always following you around, wanting to be near you, etc.  They melted our hearts!  

Woodrow and Abigail Woodrow and Abigail

The kittens are brother and sister.  Our rabbits name was Eleanor Roosevelt, and we decided to stick with Presidents and First Ladies.  So this adorable duo will be named Woodrow Wilson (left) and Abigail Adams (right). 

We pick up the babies this saturday!! I’m sure there will be plenty more posts in the near future as we chronicle our lives together.

xo R

Day 3: Iditarod Sled Dogs, Talkeetna, & Denali Princess Lodge

Day 3’s morning excursion was one of the highlights of the trip. The entire trip was amazing, but this definitely stands out. 

We woke up, grabbed a parfait and some coffee at the lodge coffee shop and boarded the shuttle to the town of Talkeetna. From there we checked in at Kahiltna Bistro and took a smaller van back to Sun Dog Kennels.

The dogs were so high strung.  There was a brief introduction and then our first activity was to get pulled on an ATV by 15 Iditarod Sled Dogs! The owner of the farm, Jerry Sousa, has run in the Iditarod 12 times and is signed up for his 13th this March!  It was amazing to watch the temperament changes as the owners were choosing the 15 dogs to be picked for our short 5-mile ride. They wanted it SO BAD. The barking was boisterous with jealousy as some were picked and others weren’t. There was over 50 dogs there. Almost all of them running in circles on their short tethers around their little houses that had their names on them. Others jumped up to stand on their houses. 1 or 2 were a little scared of people, so they sat quietly in their homes, looking at us suspiciously.

 Sun Dog Kennels Talkeetna Alaska Sled Dogs

The more dogs they chose, the louder the barking got as they were PLEADING to be chosen to pull the ATV.  We weren’t aloud to interact with the dogs during this first bit because of how high strung they were and how unpredictable they can be at this time.  When 14 dogs were chosen and there was only one more, the barking was at its loudest.  It was deafening.  The moment the owner picked the 15th dog, the barking just about seized completely and there were no peeps from the dogs. It was the most bizarre thing. They knew their chance was up and they’d have to wait for the next ride.  The course was split in half to let everyone ride; 2.5 miles each. It was an amazing experience to be right behind them, being pulled through the forest.  My SIL said, “Is this what Santa Claus feels like?” lol.  

Sun Dog Kennels Talkeetna Alaska Sled Dogs

H& J Getting pulled during the first 2.5 miles

When we returned to the farm, The dogs were wiped and covered in water and mud.  We got to pet the dogs and praise them for their good work.  They were absolute dolls; rolling on their backs for tummy rubs, loving all the attention.  Next, we got an explanation of the Iditarod from the runner himself and he shared his experiences with us.  For those of you that don’t know, the Iditarod is a dog sled race, that is appx. 1,100 miles long, and takes about 11 days, therefore, they run about 100 miles a day. 

The training for the dogs is pretty exemplary. Their goal is to get 3000 miles logged on each dog before the Iditarod.  They start training in the late summer, starting with 5 miles, 10 miles, 15 miles per day, all the way up to 100 miles.  They start training the yearlings (the younger pups) and pair them up with the older dogs to learn from their wisdom and experience.  I learned that the dogs race almost their entire lives.  The dogs don’t retire from pulling until they are about 10 years old. Which blows my mind because thoroughbreds will only race until about 5 years old, if that, and their life span can reach 25-30 years. 

We also got to play with husky PUPPIES!! They were soft and adorable and fluffy and it was amazing :) 

After leaving Sun Kennel Farms, we walked around the small town of Talkeetna, which consisted of mostly pubs, bars and gift shops. It didn’t take us more than 30 minutes to walk the entire town and go in most stores. Very small. We made our way back to Kalhitna Bistro for lunch where I had the Reindeer Chili, which was absolute to die for. 

We headed back to Mckinley Princess Lodge, played a game of Farkle, desperately waited to see if Denali would make an appearance from behind the clouds, and boarded a bus to get to Denali Princess Lodge.  Once at Denali Princess Lodge, we did a 12 minute HIIT workout (Which I just posted for this weeks WORK-IT WEDNESDAY!, Read why I LOVE HIIT, HERE!) and the went to a dinner theater show! It was very corny and hokey, but thats what you expect in a dinner theater.  It was a lot of fun and the food was great!  I was just about falling asleep by the end of it from pure exhaustion, so it was straight to bed after that and preparing for the next day in Denali!

xo R

DIY Cardboard Letter with Découpage Tutorial

In honor of our beautiful little bun bun that passed away 2 weeks ago, I wanted to create a little memorial for her.  The corner where her cage was is looking rather empty, and it’s always sad to notice the emptiness… so I came up with an idea that incorporates lots of photos of her to help bring a smile to our faces and keep our memories strong. 

Cardboard letter with Decoupage

Yes you can go and purchase a cardboard letter from your local craft store.  They aren’t that expensive. But say you want a specific font, or size, or you just like crafts and saving money (like me!), you can make your own at home!

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

Materials:

  • 2 cereal boxes (you may only need on, depending on the letter, 2 to be safe!
  • Exacto Knife/Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Newspaper or Phonebook
  • Water (for Paper Mache Mix)
  • Flour (For Paper Mache Mix)
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Mod Podge (Get DIY homemade version here (SeeKateSew))
  • Paint Brush
  • Photos (optional)

First, I started by opening the box up by just ripping it apart where it was glued together, no cutting needed.

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!Second, I free-handed the letter “E” (for Ellie) that I wanted.  You can find one on google, print it out and trace it.  That’s the easier way to do it, especially if you don’t trust your free hand skills, but we also have no ink in our printer lol

 

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

 

Next, using the Exacto Knife, I cut out the cardboard that wasn’t needed, only the area in the middle, do not cut off the tabs/nutrition labels, etc.  I then traced the E on the other side of the cardboard, and cut out those scraps as well.  

As you can see, I did not cut the center piece already connecting the two E’s where I was going to have to connect them later anyways, saves some hassle! As you will soon be able to tell from the pictures, I’m essentially turning this cereal box inside out. 

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once both sides have been cut, start taping everything together to make a solid E.

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, using the remaining scraps of the Cheerio’s box and some pieces from the other cereal box, measure and cut and tape so the E becomes a solid structure.

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

PAPER-MACHE TIME!

Mix equal parts flour and water to create a pancake-batter-like consistency.  I recommend starting off with 1/2 cup flour & 1/2 cup water.  Rip (not cut) the newspaper or phonebook paper into strips of varying lengths about 1-2 inches wide.

Lay down something on the table/ground, this will get messy.

Dip the strips into the mix, wipe off as much excess “batter” as possible and start applying it to the letter in a random, mismatched, criss-cross pattern. I try not to overlap too much so that it dries quicker. Once you have completely covered the letter with one layer it is very important to let it dry completely. If you put on a second layer while the first is still wet it could get moldy. Be patient, let it dry.  

Now I only did two layers of paper-mache, but I’ve seen people do three or more. I am just too damn lazy.

Sorry I couldn’t get pictures of this process, my hands were SO MESSSYY!!

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!Wait a full 24 hours for it to dry, and then take some sand paper to it. I used whatever we had, it was a fine grain sandpaper. I then painted the letter (using acrylic paint) everywhere that I didn’t decide to paste pictures too (i.e the sides & back). Here is the E sanded and painted!

You could just paint the letter and be done here!

If you want to make it more personalized, continue on!

Attention to Balance DIY Cardboard Letter & Découpage!

Buy or make Mod Podge using glue & water, See tutorial here (SeeKateSew))

The final step was the toughest. Choosing, cutting, and positioning the pictures. Be patient, put on some Doctor Who, and get to work! I put a coat of Mod Podge on the E, then on the back of the picture, let it air dry a little, waved it around for about 10 seconds, and then stuck it on and held it for about 10 seconds. 

Seal the pictures on by by using some Mod Podge on the front of the pictures where they overlap or meet the edges.

VOILA! You can hang this or just sit it in a window sill like we did. If you have any questions, please comment and I will answer :)

Renee

You could just paint the letter and be done