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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Cats, Our Life

A Surprise Visit

We’re taking a break from home updates today to share a snapshot of life (well, mostly of our pets). My mom popped in from Oregon this past weekend for a surprise visit on my birthday. While she was here, we spent some time in the backyard with the Bengal girls and her service dog, Teddy. Cute animals are always great for a photo opportunity, so I grabbed my camera and snagged a few shots while my mom, DJ, and I conversed in the back yard. Continue Reading

Home Projects

Simple Front Door Updates

I mentioned in our recent Living Room post that I wanted to paint the front door.

Well, I did it!

Our front door was white, which was fine but kind of bland on a mostly cream house. On the inside, the cream color of the door clashed with the wall color, so we knew we were going to have to paint eventually (true for all the doors in the house). While I like the airy feel the white walls and drapes bring to the room, I was yearning for some color on that wall and the door seemed like a good place to add interest.

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The Master Bedroom

Continuing on our tour of the current state of our house, next stop is the master bedroom. It’s probably the room closest to being “complete” — if anything can really be considered complete in the moving target that is interior styling.   Continue Reading


Our Living Room

I hesitate to call this a before and after, because the house is constantly evolving and there is still a lot I’d like to do to this room, but the living room has changed drastically since I moved in. DJ didn’t particularly want to keep any of his existing furniture, so we sold off everything that was in there except the cat tree and the TV. The former’s fate is to be determined (more on that later in the post) and the latter ended up moving into the master bedroom to replace a large plasma screen that was in there. We updated the ceiling fan, got the room freshly painted, and then essentially transplanted my living room into the space.

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Cat Integration: Thwarting a Cat Burglar

Just when we were congratulating ourselves on how well our cat integration solutions have been working, Calamity decided to throw a wrench into the gears. If you’ve been following along with us for awhile, you may recall our post about our complicated cat feeding situation that involved procuring a microchip enabled feeder so that DJ’s cats could continue to free feed while my Bengals continued their timed meal drops from an automatic feeder (because one of Mochi’s life ambitions is to be as rotund as possible).

Calamity recently decided that despite the free access to her fully stocked microchip-enabled food bowl, the Bengal’s automatic feeder was somehow a more attractive option.

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Livening Things Up

We’ve been working on a few house projects that I was hoping to share this week, including a look at how far we’ve come in updating the living room. But things are moving slightly slower than anticipated, as things often do, and we’re not quite ready to blast it to the internet. So in the interim, I thought I’d share a more micro glimpse of our space by focusing on our still relatively new houseplants.

Generally, when in need of a hit of greenery, I’ve defaulted to decorating with fake plants — though I’m VERY picky about it and only buy them if they are super realistic. Our beautiful state of California is unfortunately wildfire prone and with it comes bad air quality. Last summer and this summer have been particularly bad, and I am relatively sensitive to dry and smokey air. DJ and I thought some natural air purifiers would be a practical and aesthetic option for helping to improve our indoor air so I decided to (gulp) break away from my comfort zone of fake greenery and give the real deal a go. Continue Reading


Be Our Guest

We had our first (since moving together) overnight house guests recently, so it seemed like a good time to give a little tour of how things have been looking in our guest room lately. You saw a sneak peek in our recent shelf building post, but we have a few more fun details to share. Continue Reading

Home Projects

Whatever Floats Your… Stuff?

When we were painting the upstairs bathrooms we took down the medicine cabinets that were hanging over the toilets. The rooms felt so much bigger and less claustrophobic that we decided not to hang them back up. The cabinets were actually a little bit overkill for our needs, but we were still left with a storage shortage without them. We realized a single shelf would free up counter space while still keeping the room feeling open and uncrowded.

Putting an open shelf above a toilet seemed mildly risky, even though we always keep our lids down when not in use (more sanitary, looks better, and — most importantly — keeps Mochi’s water obsessed paws out of the bowls). A picture ledge seemed like the best solution to keep things in place. We hunted for store bought solutions and even bought and tried some shelves from Target, but nothing was quite the right scale, most options being a little too shallow for the items we wanted to store.

Fortunately, picture ledges are a breeze to build and the internet is replete with tutorials, so I decided to make them myself. After reading a few methods online, I had a pretty good idea of what I thought would work best for me and got to work. I ended up building three shelves: one for each of the upstairs bathrooms and one for the guest room. Continue Reading