It's Bailey's Gotcha Day! On June 29, 2016 we brought Bailey home. To be honest, sometimes thinking about last summer gives me pretty intense anxiety. Rescuing Bailey was one of the best things we've ever done, but it also came with quite a bit of stress.

Let me back up a little bit, because maybe you don't know the story. Blake and I had wanted to get a 2nd pug for a while, but we weren't sure if we wanted to go back to the breeder we got Delly from, or try to rescue a pug (possibly from the Pug Rescue of Florida). Then down the grapevine trickled the information that an acquaintance of a friend of a friend (etc!) needed to rehome her pug. 

I won't give all the details but she wasn't happy to have to do this. Her family was going through a lot and she had to move out herself and couldn't take the dog with her. I reached out and told her we wanted a 2nd pug, that we were really familiar with pugs and that our dog was about the same age so we thought it would be a great fit. 

She totally agreed so we planned to meet up at a pet store later in the week. It needed to happen quickly, because she was getting ready to leave the country and her family at that point refused to let Bailey stay there any longer. (I figured out why later!)

The girl asked ahead of time if we could make it a quick process because she was going to have a hard time with it. I understood that. I expected her to basically hand her over and she'd leave. That's when it got interesting. She got out of the car and stalled a bit. Evidently she hadn't seen Bailey in a few weeks due to the circumstances and Bailey was in worse shape than she knew and had told me. That part I had expected. What I didn't expect was the news that Bailey was most definitely pregnant. (!!)

So many thoughts were rushing through my head. I had to call Blake and tell him what was going on. I just knew he'd say "no way, we can't adopt a pregnant dog." But he didn't. He could tell in my voice that I just couldn't leave her. I told him that she had been kept outside, and that it had been raining that day. Bailey was in pretty rough shape even without the pregnancy. He laughed nervously and said, "well okay!"

Gosh, she was in rough shape. Pugs are kind of high maintenance dogs, and they can't really be neglected for long. She had ear and eye infections and was underweight by several pounds. We could tell she was a smaller pug, but she was only 12 pounds and basically full term pregnant. (For perspective, Delly, who has never missed a meal in her life, is about 18-19 pounds) She also wasn't up to date on her vaccines. I will never forget how much dirt came out of her ears. The vet tech had to help me clean them out and even she was shocked.

She ended up having the puppies on July 19th, just a few weeks later. I don't want to re-type out the birth story of the puppies. It was pretty traumatic. And I guess if that's the worst thing that has happened to me, I can't really complain. But, I can't even look at the travel kennel without having intense flashbacks. I had to switch laundry detergent because the smell of those freshly laundered towels I had for the whelping box still lingers in my head. We were also undergoing a major bathroom remodel at the same time, and while that turned out beautifully, it only added to the stress. It took me months to recover emotionally, as dramatic as that sounds.

Here she is with her 2 babies, right after her C-Section. I think this was the first time we truly saw how skinny and frail she was. All the nutrition she had was going to those pups. She was just skin and bones for the longest time. We fed her any time she showed any interest in food. In fact now I'm remembering she could only stomach wet food for the first few weeks. 

In the last year, Bailey has totally blossomed. We got her eye and ear infections fixed right away. She got up to date on her vaccines, and we had her fixed. But, not before she went into heat again! Ugh, lots of new experiences with this girl.  

She was and is just the best momma. Winston still harasses her on a daily basis, and she will just roll over and pretend to be his prey. It's so funny. I'd say they are what's called a bonded pair. They sleep together in the kennel, while Delly still prefers to be attached to us. 

Bailey does have trouble seeing from time to time. Her eyes are very dark, which apparently comes from getting older. She can't see too well in bright light, so sometimes she gets lost outside-even when you are standing near by. We will just talk to her or clap our leg so she can figure out where we are. She has been known to run into us too! 

She has put on about 4 pounds, and her stomach has shrunken from her puppies/c-section. She has a cute little figure now! And a great appetite! She really filled out when we started her on high-calorie puppy food. It was pretty challenging to feed 3 dogs, 3 different foods! Fortunately, now they all eat the same thing. All that good nutrition really benefited her. Her fur is so so soft now and she doesn't get itchy paws anymore.

She has the sweetest personality, and is so laid back! Although, she will yell at you if she is hungry or needs to go out. We love that she drinks like a camel, but we don't love that she also holds it all day and only goes out once. If you miss it, there is about a gallon of pee to clean up! At this point, though, I think we recognize her cues.

I've snapped a few pictures of her recently, so you can see her transformation! No more ribs sticking out, but she still has those sad eyes mastered, haha! I think this look is just utter contentment. Especially because I banished Winston to the other room.

Her eyes really change outside.
I wrote a little bit about adopting a dog in this post about changing her name. It was definitely a different experience than getting an 8 week old puppy from a breeder. Bailey was a full grown dog with a whole history we will never know. We  had to get to know her, and she had to get to know us! We didn't know what tricks she knew or if she had ever even been on a walk.  

It's neat to look back on this past year and see how far she has come! The crazy thing is, I'm not sure she'd be alive if we didn't take her home that day, which is super sobering. I'm so happy we went out on a limb for her and that it worked out the way it did. I can't say enough good things about adopting or rescuing a dog, and especially an older dog who needed a little extra care. She has been a great addition to our family, and without her we wouldn't have Winston either! And goodness knows he keeps our life interesting!
Happy Gotcha Day Bailey!

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I'd so much rather buy stuff for my house than clothes! Whenever we go to TJ Maxx, I always bypass the racks of clothing and head right to the homewares. But, for whatever reason I've done a bunch of clothes shopping in the last few weeks. I think it's because the season has officially changed here and I've noticed what I was lacking in the way of summer clothes. (Although it's basically summer here all year long, we've entered the humid stage when all I want to put on is as little as possible and things that breathe well!) 

The Wednesday Wars
From Goodreads: The Wednesday Wars is a wonderfully witty and compelling story about a teenage boy’s mishaps and adventures over the course of the 1967–68 school year in Long Island, New York. 

What I Didn't Like:
This took me a little while to get into. The story takes place during an entire school year, so it has lulls. I really only got enthusiastic about the story in the 2nd half. 

What I Liked: 
This was a really light read. It's wholesome, and I really like a kid's perspective on a time in history that had a lot going on. It reminded me of when I was in 6th grade and 9/11 happened. I knew it was terrible at the time, but I was so young that I really didn't understand the whole thing. Holling lives during the Vietnam war, The Beatles, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy being shot...but he's also got a lot going on in 7th grade. He is a fun and charming narrator

Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5 Stars (1: hated it, 2: didn't like it, 3: liked it, 4:liked it, 5: loved it)
I did really like this book, but I didn't LOVE it. It's charming and light, but it definitely isn't thrilling. 

This is the next stop on our home tour! Find the previous posts here

If I was blessed to be on one of those HGTV home reno shows, and it was totally free and someone else did all the work, I know exactly what this room would look like. My design would involve tearing down walls and reworking the entire room. But alas, this is real life. In real life, I had no idea what I would do with a load bearing wall and I also knew carrera marble would look really out of place in this house.

Flashback to 2010 and this is what you'd see! We did have a new fridge, which was an amazing gift from my in-laws for our wedding. But, the rest of the kitchen...let's just say it was pretty cringy. 

The layout works just fine for me. The only time it bugs me that I have a small kitchen is when we have people over. Everybody wants to gather around the kitchen and there just isn't room. (If this were HGTV, I'd open the kitchen up to our massive dining room and spread out a little) 

Our kitchen modifications happened over time. We bought a new stove one Black Friday, so that we could have matching appliances. I painted the cabinets, and we lived in a very white kitchen for a few months.  Then we were able to hire an amazing guy to build a custom countertop for us, and then we had our talented family member install a backsplash to match.

Can I just brag on our backsplash for a second? I wanted white subway tile, but I wanted to break up the white with a gray grout. Groundbreaking right? Well it was at the time! We came up with this combo long before it was popularized by Fixer Upper. It was so new the relative who installed it was very skeptical about the combo, but he did it anyway and was impressed when it didn't look crazy. Anyway, it turned out great and if we ever resell our house people will like it. 

Under cabinet lighting was the best thing I ever did to this space. The overhead light and window don't let in enough light, so with the puck lights we have great lighting for tasks. I would love to add some to the other side of the kitchen by the stove, but there aren't any outlets over there, so I've gotta figure that one out. 

One thing I've always liked is the open shelving on the one side of the kitchen. It acts as a pantry and a place to store cake stands and smaller appliances. I'm also head over heals for our sink! We replaced our tiny double sided sink last summer for this big open sink with an awesome faucet. This was life changing since we are dishwasherless! 

Leave a comment below if you have a tiny kitchen too! Do you have a dishwasher, or are you a handwasher like us? I'd love to know if people tend to gather in your kitchen, or in a different room of your house!
There was a dress from Anthropologie a few years ago, that I have been obsessively trying to find. It was kelly green and had tennis rackets embroidered on it. (Here is the dress I'm talking about) I could never seem to find it on Ebay or Poshmark in my size, despite my searching. 
Delly is basically famous.
I have an Instagram account for the pugs. I cringe every time I admit that, but I have a legitimate reason for it! My instagram feed is loaded with pictures of my friend's kids, and there are probably only a handful of those kids that I actually want to see pictures of. Half the pictures on my phone are of my dogs, and undoubtedly others don't care about them like I do (just like how I feel about kid pictures) so I created an Instagram, so my friends who do want to see them can. 

There is actually a huge pug population on Instagram! I'll put it this way, the dog's account has more followers than my personal account. Anyway, all that said because the following picture of Delly went basically viral. Not really, but most of our pictures get about 100 likes or so, but this one got close to 500! For no reason. I mean it's cute, but I really don't understand !! It must have something to do with Instagram's algorithms. The next picture I posted was back to the usual amount. 

I'm trying to cook more at home!
Eating out is still our biggest weakness when it comes to our budget. Some days are just so busy, and the last thing we want to do is come home and cook. The funny thing is, we never have meals out that are better than something we can do at home. I'd definitely like to challenge myself to cook more frequently. This past weekend I made my first cheeseboard! I'm drooling just looking at it. 

Oh, and our taco nights have forever changed because of these tortillas! The yellow corn ones are to die for and they don't fall apart. I easily found them in our small-town Publix that doesn't usually carry too much variety. 

Blake finally bought me a riding lawn mower!
I have been waiting for this for years!! We've had a sorry push mower for the longest time, and this past year the self-propelled function broke. It's an incredible workout, but it was taking us like 2 hours to mow even though we only have less than a half of an acre. Funnily, it was Blake's turn to mow the grass, and that's what made him finally go up to Lowe's and get a riding mower. 

It's been raining for days upon days here, so our yard has needed some serious attention for awhile. Maybe I'll have a little time this weekend to finally work on our flowerbeds. We are also looking into getting a fence put in, so we don't have to see the palm tree jungle and trash can collection in the alley behind us. It will also be great to just be able to let the pugs out, and not have to worry about them chasing down our poor neighbor(s)...that may have happened twice in the same day recently....

Pugs & Pearls got a facelift!
I've slowwwwly been working on a little makeover for this blog. My tastes have changed since I started blogging in 2014 (!). Right now I really appreciate a simpler, easy to read format. I found a great (basic) template from Etsy that I was able to completely customize, which I really liked. Mobile friendly was important to me too. It would have been SO great to have a professional design it for me, but I had trouble with the idea of handing over so much money. 

I've had a couple of hiccups, so let me know if you see anything that isn't working right. For instance, some text was showing up white, and I still don't know why, but I think I fixed that. I've actually been really proud of myself. Not only is HTML pretty scary, but I was also able to design my own header, and fix a Bloglovin problem. (For some reason my blog had my .com and my .blogspot pages separately.) 

Props to some of you who already noticed the makeover! It's been cool to see who comes directly to my website, and who reads from something like Bloglovin

Blake and I are basically turning into the same person.
This cracked me up! One of the photo's from Wednesday's post about Blake's style reminded me instantly of the picture of me from a few weeks ago. We are making the exact same expression of disdain or skepticism, I'm not sure which. 

When you've been together for a few years, you definitely start rubbing off on the other person... I just didn't have photographic evidence before! 

Have a great weekend!
On the way to the beach, I talked everyone in our group into stopping off at the Outlet Mall. They humored me, but it wasn't long until the guys got bored. To entertain themselves they picked out 3 pieces of clothing that were as pastel as a baby shower, and dared my husband Blake to try everything on at once. I'm talking mint green pants, a pink tee-shirt and a yellow button up. Everybody gathered around the dressing room, ready to start laughing as soon as he came out. The best part was, he totally pulled it off! 

Homemade Cleaner Recipes from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Cleaning houses has been my side hustle for about 3 years now. That extra money has been so nice, but I'm slowly 'retiring' from taking on any more new clients. I'm getting older, after all! Cleaning can be really physical. I don't mind burning the calories, but there have been some side effects I'm not crazy about.
My nail strength has really suffered and I've even developed a sensitivity to smells. I can easily trace both of these problems to cleaning. You've gotta clean your own house, but all that extra exposure to chemicals can't be good. Not only did the harsh chemicals bother me, but I was blowing through cleaners on my busy weeks!

To combat these issues, I started looking into homemade cleaners. I wanted to find some recipes that really worked, but weren't so harsh on me, or whatever I was cleaning. Plus, if I could save money in the process, bonus! I did a little research, whipped up a few batches and started testing.
I'll be honest, some of the ones I made didn't work at all. Some of them smelled horrendous! I haven't found a solid recipe for a few cleaners, so I'm still using old fashioned Clorox spray and disinfecting wipes. However, I did find 6 excellent cleaners in my experimenting that I want to share with you today. 

I use these glass spray bottles and I bought these adorable labels from Etsy. And a small disclaimer here: These cleaners have worked really well for me, but make sure you test them in an inconspicuous area before you use them. 

All Purpose Spray
This guy is truly for all purposes! You can use it on any solid surface. Tea Tree essential oil is a great one to add for disinfecting, but you can add any scent you'd like.

Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 5 drops essential oil to about 2 cups distilled water. Shake well before use!

Grease and Grime Cleaner
I've been thoroughly impressed with this cleaner! This works best on cabinets, blinds, and grease. It is fine to use on other solid surfaces, but it can be streaky. 

Add 1 tablespoon of castile soap to 2 cups of distilled water. Shake well before use!

Homemade Grease and Grime Spray Recipe from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Soap Scum Spray
I was sceptical of this one, but it blows me away every time. Spray this on your shower or fixtures, clean the rest of your bathroom, then come back to wipe and rinse. This does amazing things to chrome! It really helps with water spots. Depending on the soap you use, this cleaner can be a little strong smelling. The smell goes away when you rinse. 

Heat 1 cup of vinegar in the microwave. Add 1 cup of dish soap to the warm vinegar. (The heat helps it dissolve.) Stir, and pour into a glass bottle. Shake well before use!

Window and Glass Cleaner
Another cleaner that has been amazing. This works best with a glass cleaning cloth, but I've had no problems with paper towels. This even left the inside of my windshield streak free, which is incredibly hard to do. 

Mix 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Shake well before use!

Homemade Sink Scrub Recipes from Pugs & Pearls Blog

Sink Scrub
Baking soda is a natural abrasive, so it's perfect for our stainless steel sink. I use lemon essential oil in my scrub, but tea tree would be a good choice too. Simply sprinkle into your sink and use a wet scrub brush to scour. Make sure to rinse thoroughly! I even wipe down the sink after rinsing to make sure it's spotless. I have my baking soda mixture in a salt shaker next to the sink for easy access. I have this salt shaker.

Add about 10 drops essential oil to baking soda. 

Air Freshener & Fabric Spray
With 3 pugs, we love this refreshing spray! It's great for the living room pillows, the dog beds, or even just to freshen the air before company comes over. You choose the scent! I went with a citrus smell, using grapefruit, orange, lemon and bergamot oil. I also made a small version of this spray using lavender to spray on our bedding. 

Mix 1/4 cup cheap vodka, 20 drops essential oil and about 3 cups water. 

Honorable Mention: I LOVE using olive oil on our leather couches. They look brand spankin' new, when we use a microfiber cloth and olive oil to clean them. My pugs love it too. Their little noses go crazy looking for the food.

I'm so eager to continue finding great homemade cleaner recipes! I still have a giant Sam's club sized Pine-sol to use up, but I think my next experiment will be with a floor cleaner. As I said, I'm not quite comfortable giving up Clorox just yet. It may just be a Florida thing, but I just feel like you need a little bleach in your bathroom. 

I'm also still completely obsessed with Magic Erasers, and I can't imagine giving those up without a fight. I wonder it there is a good DIY for those! 

Leave a comment below if you've made your own cleaners! I'd love to hear your recipes. Especially if you have one for something I haven't been successful at yet! The cute labels and bottles make a huge difference, amiright? 


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The next stop on our home tour is the Office! Legally it can't be considered a third bedroom, because it doesn't have a closet. Since we don't have kids, an office is the most logical use for this room anyway. If we did someday have to stick a kid in here, the best solution would be some sort of built-in for a closet solution. 

Blake used to work from home, and he spent so much time in here during that time. Honestly, I think I use this room the most now. It's sort of a museum of all of Blake's stuff though. I'm sorry, but I'm not having Star Wars posters anywhere else in this house. He also refuses to have his golf clubs stored in our shed, so those live in here too. (I can feel the virtual sympathy from all you wives out there.) 

I am so bummed, but all I can find for a 'before' picture is this terrible blurry one! The following picture is one I snapped the day I painted the room and hung up the window treatments, which was about 3 years ago. 

Our most recent update to this room was in May, when we bought this new desk from Ikea! I love it SO much. We had an L shaped desk that wasn't my favorite thing. It had zero storage, which made the top of the desk quite cluttered. In addition to the desk, we bought a matching drawer. It's the perfect size and now all of our unsightly paperwork is tucked away. 

We also LOVE the armchairs in here. We totally scored those when a family member had a yard sale. They are comfy, and the pugs like to jump up there and sleep while I work on the computer. 

I don't hate all the Star Wars stuff, but I'm glad it's contained in here. Blake gives me so much freedom when it comes to the house and how it looks, so I am happy he has a space of his own. Also a space that he doesn't mind me in, and doesn't mind my sparse touches here and there. 

I would like to change out the art in here. What's on the walls is really random, and has been collected over the years. At his work office, Blake has a set of gorgeous framed movie posters that I would like to replicate in here. There are some Star Wars prints, but I really love The Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and Vertigo. 

Leave a comment below if you have a home office! I'd love to know if you bother decorating it or if it becomes a catch-all like our's seems to. Does your husband have his own space, or do you not mind if his guy stuff is throughout the house?
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