BarkBox vs. PetBox: A Comparison

Earlier this year, I came across a Groupon for something called BarkBox. I’d never heard of it before, but after reading the description, I thought it would be a pretty cool thing to get for Rascal. I had wanted the three-month subscription, but that was sold out; I settled for the six-month. Thanks to a promo code, I got 20% off the Groupon, ultimately plunking down $64. I got an additional two months for free as well. Normally, referrals get you one free box, but BarkBox ran a promotion in late spring where they doubled that incentive. So, for those scoring at home, that means I paid about 40% of the normal price. Not too shabby.

A couple of months ago, there was a Groupon for another subscription service PetBox. Dana decided to get this one, paying $60 for the six-month option. We’ve been happy with both companies thus far, and each offers its own unique strengths, but we definitely don’t need both, and eventually will have to choose between them.

Well, actually, the choice has already been made. Want to know why? Keep reading… Continue reading


Zoo Diares: Rascalisms

Now that we’ve gotten some updates about me and Kyle out of the way, let’s move on to a more important topic: What has Rascal been up to?!


This puppy seems to get more affectionate everyday. Since the new cat, Shrek, has arrived, I’ve been noticing how well he and the other cats interact. Don’t get me wrong, he still tries to hump them at least once a day and bothers them when they’re sleeping, but on the whole they get along so well. They clean each other’s ears, and Godiva and him still play-fight constantly.

Shrek and Rascal are slowly building their relationship. Shrek is terrified of Rascal, but also loves to terrify Rascal by running at him, swatting, and running away. Rascal is scared of Shrek, but also really wants to play with him. Some days he just stands there and barks at him. On Friday Shrek meowed loudly at Rascal, and Rascal jumped into my lap.

But back to that affectionate thing. Rascal wasn’t a cuddlier until about 6 months. We maybe kind of forced it on him. Now, I fall asleep most nights with him pressed against my shins. He’s also a bed hog and sleeps as soundly as Kyle. So when I get up in the middle of the night to pee and he takes my spot in the bed, I literally have to pick him up and move him. But sleepy Rascal is best Rascal so it’s kind of okay.


Rascal has also taken to sleeping under the covers- but only after 5 a.m. or so. He nudges me awake and I let him in because I’m a pushover. On Friday morning he mistook my t-shirt for the covers, got stuck in my shirt, freaked out and scratched the shit out of me as I tried to get him out. I was so mad when it happened, but now just thinking about it makes me laugh.

He is the epitome of a lap dog. Even when lap is occupied, he wants to be in it. One day last week he managed to nudge himself under my laptop. He has finally stopped trying to fight belly rubs (we used to get nibbled if he willingly rolled over) and enjoys between the eye pets as well.


After that time Rascal ate a whole pack of gum, we started putting a little more effort into his training. Dog training is such a bizarre thing to me. Mostly because I’ve never had a dog, I’m sure. Rascal usually gets the concept withing the first 10-15 minutes. But it then takes another ~2 months for him to do it consistently. So just now are we really seeing the returns of what we started in July.

I also never realized how much of dog training was practical training. Potty training, obviously. But commands like “off” (to stop leaning on the counter/ jumping on someone), “leave it,” and “stay” come in handy pretty much every day. My other favorite command is a tongue click to keep him moving when we’re on a walk, because he’s a curious pup and wants to stop and smell everything. We’re slowly starting the process of teaching him to be off the leash. We’ve only taken a few test runs, but so far so good.

All is well in the world of Rascal.

We might be a little obsessed with him. Don’t tell anyone, k?

Oh, hey there!

Did you miss us?


We haven’t posted in quite a while, I know. It wasn’t a planned break, but obviously a needed one.

There’s been a lot of hooping. And this new thing called fire poi.


Animal cuddles. Balanced out with gum eating incidents and litter box fiascos (hello being a grown up!).



Much time has been spent on the porch. Outside of our house >>> inside of our house


Cooking cooking cooking. I am overwhelmed by produce and I’m adoring it.


And adventuring of course:



All this being said, time and motivation to blog has been scarce. We’ll continue to pop in when we can, but for now we are soaking up every second of summer. And we hope you are too.



Picture it: let’s catch up, shall we?

The whirlwind that is our lives right now never seems to slow down! But I am not complaining. Let’s play catch up!

Life lesson: no matter how busy you think you are, never stop pausing to appreciate the sky.


Finally got on that garden thing this month! I’m so proud of me. My basil is wilting but I haven’t killed anything yet.


And I managed to grow a few things from seed! The sage and thyme are thriving.


Chili was giving me moral support.


I got my hairs cut. And officially haven’t shampooed my hair in 3 months. Post on that someday…


We made hoops! I managed to not epoxy myself in the process which was a major victory. Also, Kyle is finally getting into poi! Kinda.



My farmshare started two weeks ago! I’m trying to document that for fun. I am absolutely loving it so far (even if I’m a little overwhelmed by how many greens are in my fridge right now).


Pickled watermelon radishes = major win.


I challenged myself to hoop everyday this month for 30+ minutes. So far it’s going beautifully. It’s probably contributing to the lack of content on the blog, but I can’t seem to stop 🙂


And last but not least. Still walking like a crazy person. I found lots of fun graffiti in an ally in the strip yesterday.





Have a wonderful weekend!

And don’t forget to look up!


Zoo Diaries: so big! Yet so small…

It’s funny how after watching Godiva and Cinnamon grow over the last year, I’ve gained a huge appreciation for all the things that are special for kittens.

Now don’t get me wrong- cinn and diva have such unique and quirky personalities and they didn’t really come out until six months or so. I do wish Rascal hadn’t stolen so much attention from them- but them again, that’s part of his quirky personality.


Chili Clementine Lil Jim Mango Cress (and some names I’m forgetting…). She has at least doubled in size since Ben brought her home and she’s still pretty damn small.

That doesn’t stop her though. She chases Cinnamon throughout the house and wrestles with her like they’re equal size. She even hisses at Rascal (which is funny because diva and cinn took ages to start hissing at him).

She also plays with toys that are way too big for her. The broom is a favorite. And Rascals rope toy. And Rascal’s light up ball….


Summer Loves

2014-06-05 16.17.30

I need a new name for these gratitude lists. Suggestions are more than welcome. Mercury is in retrograde and any elegance with words I’ve ever had is escaping me.

Anywho. This needs to be a more regular thing. And I need to stop just saying that.

I grateful for every single moment of the summer. My and Kyle’s dream to move south is grounded in the fact that we are both significantly happier in the summer. And Rascal may love the snow, but I think he prefers spending hours outside in the yard a little more 😉

Summer Gratitude

– Fresh, post rain smells

– Listening to music escaping from houses while walking the neighborhood

2014-06-08 14.25.43

– Hooping outside (duh)

– Eating in restaurants that open to the outside

– Fireworks!

2014-05-25 22.53.39

– Sundresses and flip flops

– Free outdoor concerts

– Cold treats: Smoothies/Popsicles/ Soy ice cream/ Iced Coffee

2014-05-29 12.44.51

– Driving anywhere and everywhere with the windows down

– Bundling up = a light sweatshirt

– Drinking beer on the porch

– Camping


And with that we’re off to enjoy the weather in Ohio for a camping trip.

Have a lovely weekend!

So the thing about hooping…


Three years ago next month I picked up a hula hoop for the first time. Ok, well not technically the first time- I certainly had one as a kid. But it was pretty neglected as I could never seem to keep it from falling.

This whole journey started with me making a joke. I was sitting in my friend Sam’s front yard on a beautiful summer day and she brought out a hoop. I picked it up saying “I bet I still can’t do this” and to my great surprise- I could!

I made her take a picture just in case it was a fluke. See above.

It took me another six months to buy a hoop. I’m not entirely sure why being that I every time I could get my hands on one I spun it around my waist with excitement. But once I did, I couldn’t stop. At the time I was living more or less in an attic (ie. there was no space) but even that didn’t matter.

As the weather got warmer I discovered YouTube tutorials and ventured out onto my front lawn. We lived on a very high traffic corner at the time and I was always amused by the comments and stares I got. For once, I wasn’t self conscious at all. I was having too much fun to care about the drivers judging me- and at the time that was a pretty big deal. Even then I think I had realized – hooping is so much more than a kids toy.2014-05-26 18.23.33

Leading up to that summer I had been extremely depressed, and no one including myself could seem to figure out why. I was inches away from starting an antidepressant. But on the worst days I knew that at least I could come home and hoop and forget, just for a while. (It was later determined I was suffering from a side effect of my birth control pill – go figure, but at least it was an easy fix!).

Something about that circular motion is calming. Something about knowing where the hoop is and where your body will direct it next is comforting. Something about the continuous roll of the circle feels like home.


A bit dramatic? Probably. But it’s all true.

Unfortunately, shortly after I figured this all out, I fractured my femur. I was crushed. I avoided anything hooping related like the plague because it was too painful to face.

The (three) different times I was (sort of) cleared to walk (it was a long recovery process…), the first thing I did was hoop. And within ten minutes I always felt better- as if something inside me had been missing before.

Now that I’ve been healed for a while, and the weather is warm enough to venture outside again, I just can’t seem to stop. I’m beginning to really find my flow (noun: the difference between individual tricks and the constant meditative movement within/around the hoop, looks and feels different for every hooper). And it’s never felt better.

So here’s my flow as of late. It’s a work in progress, of course. My transitions are shaky and I drop the damn thing often. But it’s so much freaking fun.

(If you turn it all the way up you can kind of hear the song. It’s a discovery of Kyle’s called Catsgroove).