It’s been 6 months since we moved into our new house and we finally got an area rug for the living room! It took months of searching, mainly because we couldn’t find one that we liked at the right price point. Believe me, area rugs can get expensive! It was hard to justify investing in a nice rug that our dogs would then chew on, have accidents on, track mud in the house …. you know all the fun stuff that puppies like to do. So, I went on a hunt for affordable rugs and wanted to share what I found.
Becoming a homeowner earlier this year was a HUGE milestone. We moved in, unpacked the boxes, got our furniture unwrapped….. then took a look around and realized we needed an interior designer!
I’d like to think I have a good eye when it comes to interior design. However, we really needed some help with the living room and I’m so glad we got design ideas from Havenly. Havenly made the whole process SO easy and I loved working with our designer Sarah Jones
This past month I have had a blast wedding planning. We started looking at venues for the ceremony and reception and I’m excited to share that we have decided on the venue and a date for the wedding! Keep reading to find out what venue we picked for the ceremony.
My Thoughts on Wedding Planning
Wedding planning sounds easy, right? Pick a color for your wedding, pick a place and call it day?
In reality… wedding planning is complicated and comes with a side of family drama. I’m starting to realize why brides get wedding coordinators. I was thinking about getting a wedding coordinator until I found out about Eventective. Eventective is a brides go-to wedding planning website to get real-time quotes for vendors all across the country.
How we met
Justin and I have been dating for 3 and a half years and it all started with a swipe right. Isn’t that how everyone meets now? Our first date was a total flop. I don’t know why the date was so bad. It was a Tuesday and we had decided to get dinner after work, maybe it had been a long day for both of us. We decided to give it a second try and go on another date…. obviously I’m glad we did!
Planning the Surprise
This past weekend my boyfriend, now fiance, planned the perfect proposal. I had mentioned I wanted a photographer to capture the moment and luckily Justin was listening when I had suggested that. He had planned for my friend Sarah, from Sarah Kelly Photography, to drive to Dallas for a day and take photos of the proposal. For them to surprise me took a lot of planning. They came up with the idea of making the photo shoot seem like my idea. Sarah told me she was trying to build her portfolio and asked if she could take photos of me and Justin. Without a doubt, I wanted a photo for a Christmas card and I said yes. I had asked Justin if he was available Saturday to take photos…. of course, he was free, he had planned it. He faked being reluctant to take photos and said he could only spare 20 minutes.
All photos are taken by Sarah Kelly Photography
On Saturday I was a little suspicious and hoping Justin would propose on our way to the “Christmas Card” photo shoot. 30 minutes into the photo shoot he hadn’t proposed and I thought I had gotten my hopes up for nothing. I knew he was going to propose soon, but I didn’t know if he had already bought a ring. At one point he was taking care of the dogs and I mentioned to Sarah that I was so bummed he hadn’t proposed yet. Little did I know he was just about to pop the big question.
The sun started setting, Justin turned to me and said, “Rachel, we aren’t just here for a photo shoot.”. I was beyond happy and started crying over his well-prepared speech.
We’ve had some amazing times together. Our trip to Portugal, traveling to NYC for my birthday, getting to meet each other’s families, raising a puppy… Going down memory lane makes me nostalgic and energized to create more memories together. I’m so thankful for Justin, our friends, and family for making this past weekend one to remember.
Dog Mom Life
If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know I adopted a puppy in August and since then I’ve had my hands full. Literally full… Like picking up Reagan, the puppy, or picking something out of her mouth lol. She is a sweetie, but a lot of work. We adopted her from Shasta Flat-Coated Retrievers out in California. She came home to Dallas right at 8 weeks and that is the minimum age to be separated from the litter. She was 10 pounds in August and is now 30 pounds! Fully Grown she’ll be about 50 pounds.
Reagan, the puppy, has a great time playing with our older dog Winston. Winston is a 5 year “young” Flat-coated mix from GRRALL. The toughest part about raising Reagan was the health scare we had last month. Reagan started vomiting and wouldn’t eat or drink for a day. We brought her to the vet and they didn’t know what was going on either. The second day the vet did an X-ray and discovered something in her intestines.
We brought Reagan to the surgery center to remove the “foreign object” from her intestines. Turns out she had eaten a lot of our other dog’s hair and it just got stuck….. It was a stressful week for us. Reagan had to stay in the ICU for three days to recover and I took three days to look at my finances and create a budget. Dog surgeries are expensive- get dog insurance.
Since then, Reagan has fully recovered from the surgery! She had another health scare at the start of October. This time she was able to pass the hair wad (TMI?). Now on my restricted budget, I am reprioritizing many things. I haven’t been able to go on a weekend get-a-away and I hope to be able to go on one soon. After all, that was the reason I started this blog- to give you travel inspiration.
I am looking forward to seeing my family for the holidays and eating some delicious home cooked food. For Thanksgiving, I’m headed to Houston to see my parents. We are road tripping with the dogs. It’s a four-hour drive from Dallas and it will be Reagan’s first road trip. I hope to take the dogs to Galveston so they can see the beach for the first time while we are in Houston.
The real fun is our Christmas plans. Justin and I are thinking about driving to his families house in North Carolina… 14 hours with 2 dogs in the car. Call us crazy, but it’s so hard to find a dog sitter over the holidays, especially for a puppy. If we do go to North Carolina, it will be the first time not spending Christmas with my family- talk about a milestone! We haven’t finalized our plans so I might end up staying in Dallas.
That’s all for now, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my email list to get notifications about the latest blog posts. Next week I’m starting a new series of guest posts. My first guest post will feature Kelsey Barnes! Stay tuned.
I hope you enjoy these free templates!
Click on each graphic, then download and upload to your Instagram story. Let me know if you have any design requests.
What to Plant
In our garden, we are growing tomatoes, peppers, green onions, chives, thyme, mint, basil, and strawberries. Check what grows best in your climate depending on the season before planting seeds. Urban Farmer is a great resource for learning about farming and understanding the best planting schedule based on your climate.
How to Start Your Garden
If you’re looking for a starting point I found a lot of great options online to get a vertical garden started:
|This vertical garden pocket hanger is a great quick solution to start your garden.|
|This second option is wall potted plants. It is a little more expensive, but comes with the irrigation system.|
How to Keep the Garden Alive
The success of my garden is due to the drip water irrigation system. I installed an irrigation system that is on a timer which made all the difference in keeping the garden alive. You can easily order an irrigation system from Amazon like the one pictured below, here. Also, I put the irrigation system on a timer with a faucet timer which helped tremendously.
Thank you for reading along as I continue my blogging journey.
Shop all the products mentioned in this post
A month ago I discovered Saranghae. Thank goodness I did because not only has this skincare helped my oily skin, it’s helped me become more intentional about my “routine” before going to bed.
From middle school through Sophmore year in college, I struggled with acne and finally took Accutane to reduce breakouts. After taking Accutane my skin looked great, so I started to neglect the importance of face masks and eye cream. I would do a daily routine of washing my face, sunscreen, then lotion, but nothing more than the basics.
I knew I needed to start using skin product when a few people at work would comment, “You look tired today”.
I think this is the most offensive comment
I was not tired. I am getting older and developing circles under my eyes. For real, how do you respond to that comment, “Thanks for noticing?”
Luckily, I started the Saranghae 5-step skincare routine at the beginning of June and I’ve seen significant results. Most importantly, no one at work has asked me if I’m tired this week. All jokes aside here’s all the details on the 5-step skincare routine.
Saranghae is an award-winning Korean 5 Step Anti-Aging skin care routine that heals, regenerates and protects your skin. Saranghae’s focus on natural ingredients, highly effective products, and excellence in customer service has helped them become the fastest growing Korean skin care brand in the United States.
For more information visit: www.lovesaranghae.com
Connect on Social Media with Saranghae
This post was written in partnership with Saranghae, all views expressed are my own.
I would tell myself:
I’m young, I’ll worry about it later
I’ll workout tomorrow
I’ll eat healthy next week
I’ve been inspired by friends that are making their health a priority and I have decided to do the same. I had been prioritizing happy hours, my career, and other things before my health and have finally started to take steps to make my health a priority. Drinking Eassic tea is just one of the many ways I’m taking control of my health.
Here Are 5 Reasons Why I love Essiac Tea
Top 9 places to take Winston:
Mutts Canine Cantina is located in Uptown. This dog park is geared towards humans and dogs. It has a bar and limited food menu. It’s so relaxing to grab a beer and watch your dog play. There is an entry fee of $6.
This small dog park is located at the corner of Klyde Warren Park downtown. See map below for location of all the dog parks.
3. Katy Trail
This is a great walking trail to bring your dog for a walk. There are lots of water fountains on the trail for your dog. The trail is 3.5 miles and you can walk to the Katy Trail Ice House!
This is the best restaurant in Dallas to take your dog! Enjoy some good BBQ outside while your dog relaxes under the table. Every time I go here I see at least 10 dogs.
The Deep Ellum Dog Park is unique park located under the highway. Bring your dog here for a good time off-leash.
If your dog likes to swim this is the perfect dog park. There are 3 parks a swimming park, small dog park, and large dog park. It can get busy here on the weekends, but Winston always has a great time.
This is a great fenced, off-lease park. It’s free to bring your dog, but beware that you’ll need to bring water for your pup!
8. Griggs Park
Griggs Park isn’t a dog park, so on-lease is required. It’s a great place to take your dog for a walk.
9. Glencoe Park
Like Griggs Park, Glencoe park doesn’t have a fenced area for dogs, however, it’s a great place to take your dog to meet other dogs!