A Week in Toronto (Part 1)

DJ had a week-long business trip in Toronto recently and I tagged along. It was his first time in Canada and my first time in Toronto. In effort to reserve my leave for a proper vacation, I worked out of the hotel and various coffee shops all week while DJ was in the office and we explored the city on the weekends and in the evenings after work.

It was freezing (literally — it snowed on us several times) but we had a great time. Toronto is a fascinating city bursting with personality. We saw so much stuff in our week there, I’m splitting our trip highlights into two posts. Let’s get into part one.

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Design, Home Projects

Making Plans for the Office

It’s March, and frankly, we haven’t accomplished much in the way of tangible house projects thus far this year, but I have been itching to write on the blog again, so here I am. Though there have been plenty of distractions (getting sick, buying a Nintendo Switch) and unpleasant weather to help keep us from engaging in physically doing projects, we are also still in the planning stages of our bigger ones. Much of our silence has been due to difficulty settling on satisfactory solutions.

Of all the projects on our to do list, the one I am most eager to accomplish — and is most on my mind lately — is our shared office. So I thought I’d share some of our current thinking on that front. If you have any thoughts or ideas about what we’re thinking, let us know! We’re very much in the mulling things over stage.

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Visiting New Zealand: Auckland

We’ve made it to the final stretch of our adventure to New Zealand and the last part of our three-part series about our vacation. If you missed it, check out part 1 for our time in the Wakaito region, and part 2 for our exploration of the south island.

Our last couple days (~2.5 days) were spent in Auckland exploring the concrete jungle — though we did seek out and spend a lot of our time in the greener parts of the city.

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Visiting New Zealand: The Otago Region and Milford Sound

Today, we’re onto part 2 of our trip to New Zealand. (Miss part 1? No worries. You can read about our time in the Waikato region here.) 

Let’s pick up right where we left off. After a few days in the north island, we hopped a plane to check out the south island of New Zealand, specifically the Otago region. Home base for us was a beautiful apartment at the edge of Queenstown, a little resort town nestled in the mountains by Lake Wakatipu.

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Visiting New Zealand: The Waikato Region

As mentioned in our previous post, DJ and I recently returned from a two week long trip to New Zealand. I shared a handful of pictures each day on my personal Instagram, but thought it might be nice to share some highlights via the blog as well. While I could easily fill up the blog with a full post per day of our trip, I will try to restrain myself. This will be a three part series, each post focusing on a different region that we visited. We saw and did a lot, so expect each post to be bursting with pictures. Ready? Let’s go to New Zealand! Continue Reading


‘Tis the Season

As as long time hater of winter, the holidays, at least, give me something to look forward to. What better way to offset cold, dark-at-5pm days than the twinkle of Christmas lights? An advocate for experiencing one holiday at time, my typical tradition is to deck the halls the morning after Thanksgiving. This year, however, DJ and I skipped out on Thanksgiving to spend two weeks exploring New Zealand together. In lieu of turkey, we enjoyed slow baked lamb and potatoes overlooking the late spring mountains in Queenstown, where the sun stuck around until 9pm. Thus, this year, I didn’t get my decorating accomplished until the day after we returned – December 1st! Continue Reading

Cats, Home Projects

Catio Access: DIYing a Cat Door Insert for a Horizontal Sliding Window

Originally we intended to buy an already made cat door insert for our dining room window in order to allow the cats access to the catio. Unfortunately, we discovered that while there are plenty of options out there for windows that open vertically, there were hardly any for windows like ours that open horizontally. The ones that did exist were very expensive.

Instead of shelling out $250-500+ for a horizontal opening window insert, we decided to build our own. It ended up being a super easy project that anyone can do in an afternoon. Continue Reading

Cats, Yard Projects

The Catio: Building an Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Ever since my indoor-unless-supervised Bengals joined my life, I’ve wanted to give them some safe all-hours outdoor access in the form of a catio. My life of moving from rental to rental was not conducive to that sort of investment (though if I’d had any inkling that I was going to spend 6 years in my last rental in Oregon before moving to California, I might have done it then). Since we’re planning to be in this house for a while yet, now seemed time to go for it. After looking at lots of pre-made and home-constructed catios online and not finding anything quite right, I opted to draw up my own plans for us to build.

Settle in, friends. This is a longer tale than usual today, but it comes complete with plans, materials, tools, and plenty of pictures in case you feel inspired to try tackling this project yourself.

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