Thursday, April 17, 2014

Personalized Pet Food Area

Justin and I used to have late night pillow talk about whether or not we were ready for a dog. We were so worried it would change our lifestyle, and it did! But in the best kind of way. One thing I remember discussing was all of the "stuff"that came along with owning a dog. I hate clutter with a burning passion (ask Justin about my weekly 'too much stuff on the counter' freakouts) I did not want big dog beds laying around or random toys all over the house. I wanted to be a dog person without looking or smelling like we were dog people, make sense? Well the smell part was easy. We give Hudson more baths than he probably needs, I constantly have candles lit, and as soon as the weather hits the high 40's you can bet I have the windows open. There is nothing worse than going to visit someone and being hit in the face with the smell of dog as soon as you walk through the door. I swore to myself that would never be us. (On a side note- we did invest in a Roomba this year. Literally the best money ever spent. We used to have a problem with hair floating around because I couldn't keep up with it with my normal vacuum, but now the Roomba gets all of it. I swear I haven't seen flying hair in forever. Highly recommend!!)

The pet organization part took a little more thought. But it has been fun coming up with unique ways to organize Hudson's "stuff". Now that we live in an apartment I am going through serious house project withdraws. So when I found this dog food holder online I knew I could sucker Justin into ask Justin nicely to make it for me. I wish I was a good blogger and had a tutorial for you, but I totally forgot to take photos of the process. I was so inspired by the below feeder I knew I had to have one for Hudson. (If you have a bigger dog it's also nice to elevate their food so they don't have to eat hunched over) Here's the inspiration and our little twist on it:


We bought this super cute Ikea trashcan to put Hudson's dog food in. So much better than the big ugly bag hanging around! They also have blue, silver and mustard. So fun!

What are you doing with my food, woman?!

Just look at that face! Such a sweet boy. 

So with a couple of my favorite photos of Hudson, a new rug and a handy husband, we now have an adorable pet food area that I am not embarrassed to have out in the open. I am in love and I think our furry little son is, too. I have even caught him staring at his pictures a few times. What do you guys think? Do you try to be a creative dog owner or have you just accepted the fact that they own the house? :p

Supply List:
Ikea Trash Can-$25. (Already had)
Target rug-$4.28 (Thank you clearance end cap!)
Canvas prints of Hudson-$20 a piece 
Pet Food Crate-$20 & husbands time
Adorable Dog-not available for purchase
(Side note-I did stain mine with a dark wood stain)

*UPDATE-Stop by our new house and see our new personalized pet food area! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boston Love.

I created this blog to share the projects we did to make our house a home never realizing that one day we may move to a totally different state! So this announcement is a total shake up to our life and routine. Justin, Hudson and I are moving to Boston, Massachusetts! Wow. Typing that out and reading it back was a little frightening, it's really happening!!! Justin got a promotion and a nice raise in January and that was such a blessing to us, but also a shocker! His boss asked him if he would think about transferring to Boston for awhile because he felt like he could really grow in the company. It didn't really take us long to make that decision. Um YES! Boston, Massachusetts? How stinking cool is that? It's definitely an opportunity that doesn't show up on your doorstep everyday. We didn't really make the decision that fast. We had to pray, get advice, and look into a few things first. We aren't total live in the moment people. :p

Another cool thing that doesn't happen too often was the 'trial' that Justin got. His boss told him to head up to Boston for a month and see how he liked it. That way if he hated it, he wouldn't be stuck there. So we both went for the month, and honestly it was kind of a bipolar experience. ha! We hated it, we liked it, we thought it was okay, we LOVED it. It took two weeks, but dang it, Boston stole our hearts! The city itself is so overwhelming. And OLD. I hate old. Unless it's "fake" old like the rustic furniture makeovers I do, but that hardly counts. And the sun didn't come out. But after a week and a half we changed hotels and instead of being right smack dab in Boston we were about 20 minutes out in this tiny little suburb. And that is where the love of the city began! Everything was cute. Still old, but a cute old. We found shopping centers that reminded us of places in Florida. We found new restaurants that quickly became our 'place'. We could see the Boston skyline from the hill just down the street from our hotel reminding us that we were still going to be a 'Bostonian' just not the 'overwhelming, thrown in the middle of a huge downtown you can't find your car in' mix. We got to see SNOW. Lots and lots of snow. Things just started clicking and we just knew, this was all working out in our favor! So, we are taking the plunge. On March 22nd we will be packing up and moving to Boston! We could be there a year, we could be there for five years. We don't know yet, but we are so excited for this experience and so grateful for all the extra 'goodies' that Justin's work threw in to make sure we would love our new home. 

The reason why this is such a change for us is because we will go from living in a 2,200 square foot 3/2 home to a 1,200 square foot 2/2 apartment. YIKES. I will say I was sooo nervous at first. Like holy freaking cow. "I don't WANT to live in an apartment. You can't MAKE me" might have come out of my mouth a time or two. But after we took a tour of a complex we found, again, we fell in love. It's a brand new complex with every amenity you can THINK of and it's about 1,000 dollars cheaper a month than renting a house. (Boston's housing market is out of CONTROOOLLL fyi) Besides that we are SO excited to get to experience four seasons again. This will be a first for Justin and we're definitely going to take advantage of it. For me, it feels like home! And I'm not ready for winter to be over. I didn't get to enjoy it enough!! So here we are! Downsizing. Going on this super fun adventure while we're still young and kid-less. We couldn't be more thrilled! We are so thankful for all the love and support we feel.

We will be renting our house out until we decide we are ready to sell. Our goal is to come back whenever we decide we are ready and sell our home now. Then we will start building our new one! Which is another huge deal, because we hadn't planned on being able to do that for four years or so. Here we go! The packing, the labeling, the dog trying to talk me into taking him on walks in between, the stress of finding the perfect renter, it's all here! And we are more ready now than we'll ever be. Wish us luck in our new adventure!!! :)

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen most of the photos I'm going to post from our Boston trip. If not, follow me on Instagram! I have my profile to private right now because there's some people I just don't want accessing my photos! But I will accept you pretty quickly if you aren't a creep. :p @BrittaneyKate is how you'll find me. Be warned, I mostly post photos of my dog. I don't love him more than my husband, I just think he's a little cuter/more photogenic. :p

Our apartment complex via


Depression Hurts

     I do not consider myself to be a fake person.  You know, someone who hates their life but openly proclaims via social media sites otherwise? That is not me. However, I am a firm believer in keeping the negative off the internet. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone spill their drama all over Facebook. My life is far from perfect, but I choose to only share happy moments. With that being said, I wanted to get serious about a very scary time in my life not too long ago. I struggled with whether or not I should openly share this story, because it was such a private matter in my life. I guess I just feel like if I can encourage even one person, then this will all be worth it.

     When I was 18 I got out of a church cult. I openly call it a cult because that church told it's members who they could and could not talk to, where they could and could not vacation, how much money they had to put in the offering plate and tons more 'rules' that I can't even fit in this post. I wish I was exaggerating, but sadly I am not. I was planning to leave the church and when the pastor found out he told everyone in the congregation they were not to speak to me anymore. I was being shunned, even from some of my own family. I wanted to run away. My friend who lived in Florida called me shortly after and told me that I could come stay with her and her family if I wanted, so I packed up my whole life in the back of my Suzuki and made the 1,100 mile trip to my fresh start.

     At first it was amazing, living in the Sunshine State. Beaches, Disney and beautiful weather, what else could you ask for? I went back to college but had to quit after my first semester because I did not have my Florida residency. I barely had two pennies to rub together some-days and could not find a job, either. On top of that, I was sharing a room with a 5 year old and I felt like my personal space was being sucked away from me. As time passed I began to feel very out of place at my friend's house. I love them dearly, but they weren't family and I was constantly being reminded of that. At this time I felt like I was drowning. I just wanted to go home.

     But then I met Justin. We met at a church function and I remember thinking that he was the funniest person I had ever known. We exchanged phone numbers and became great friends right away. No matter what was happening in my life at the time, whenever I was around Justin I felt like I could keep my head above water. He was the most vibrant, positive, amazing guy I had ever been around and he always made me feel better. Our friendship turned into a relationship and all of my free time was constantly spent with him. I still wanted to move back to Indiana, but now that I was starting to care so deeply for Justin my heart was torn. So here starts the beginning of my very real battle with depression. At this point, I didn't even know I was struggling with it.

     To shorten this story up a little, Justin and I got married a couple of years later and life was great. Except one thing- I was miserable. Don't get me wrong, I love Justin and I love being married but hated where we lived. I felt like the Florida sun was sucking the life right out of me. I still hadn't gotten my Florida residency, didn't have many friends, didn't like my church, 90 degree days almost year round and so many other things that had been bogging me down since I got to Florida as an 18 year old. I was so jealous of Justin because he got to go to any family event he wanted to (his family lived within a 15 minute radius of us) while I missed out on almost every holiday with mine. I know that sounds so childish of  me, but it made me bitter. Somewhere during all of this I started closing the blinds, sleeping until 2pm everyday and praying to God for a way out of this state I had come to hate so much. The only time I was ever okay was when Justin pulled in the driveway after work. By this time in my life, I felt like I was only getting out of bed for him and that is a very scary place to be.

     I ended up at the doctor for a muscle problem and they put me on a muscle relaxer which also doubled as an antidepressant. When I found this out I had a full fledged freak out session. I was in complete denial because I did not think depression was real and even if it was real, it only affected people who had been through serious trauma in their life. I cried and screamed because how DARE my doctor try to put me on an antidepressant. Who did he think he was? Depression was embarrassing and I was NOT depressed! Justin explained that those pills were prescribed for my muscle problem, not depression and told me I should see how they helped my other issue before quitting. About a month into taking the pills I started to feel very numb. I was living my life, but felt like I was being programmed by someone else to do so. I don't remember getting up in the morning and I don't know how I crawled back into bed at night. It was a very out of body experience. I started having nightmares and one day found myself in the kitchen staring at the knife set on the counter. Tears were streaming down my face and I realized just how bad this had gotten. I ran to the medicine cabinet, grabbed the pills and poured them all in the toilet. I curled up in a little ball and waited for Justin to get home.

     When he walked through the door, I flung myself at him and told him everything I had been battling with for the last year- including the split second I thought about hurting myself. He rocked me in his arms and apologized over and over again for not being able to see what I was struggling with. Afterall, whenever he was home life was great! But as soon as he left for work I was stuck in this very dark and scary place. Together we made a plan. A list of things to help me get through this. I got a job and stayed out of the house during the day. I took my dog with me everywhere I went. I ignored every negative thought that entered my mind and I fought very hard to be a happier person. In the back of my mind I was always sad because I felt like I was stuck in Florida, but continued to tell myself that someday our situation would change and things would be better.

     Last December, Justin was offered a position for work in Boston. I literally cried tears of joy because I felt like God heard my prayer. I was not going to voice my selfish opinion until Justin found out whether this was a good opportunity for growth or not. When we came to visit Massachusetts they made him an offer, and it was too good to refuse. I know a lot of people in Florida probably blame me for taking their Justin away, but I'm okay with that. I did push him to take this job. I pushed him to say goodbye to everything he knew and start a new life here in Massachusetts. I pushed him to do the most out of the box, crazy thing he had ever done. And you know what? It was the most healing thing he could have ever done for our marriage. So if that makes me selfish, I gladly accept the title because I don't know how much longer I could continue to drown in that pool of depression I was living in.

( Don't get me wrong, I did not just push him for my own selfish reasons. There were so many greater opportunites here than in Florida, Justin needed an extra shove to see that. Shortly after we moved here Justin said that it was one of the best decisions he could have made for our family and his career)

I don't know why that weight was so heavy on me while we lived in Florida. Maybe it was an environmental depression, I'm really not sure. I get so afraid of thinking about moving back there. If we ever have to I can only hope that A. my situation has changed or B. I can find enough medication to keep me sane. Anyway, since we moved here I have fallen in love with my life again. The seasons change so we always have something to look forward to. The landscape just makes you smile because it is so beautiful. Our families get to visit whenever and our time with them has been so much sweeter. And we can visit them whenever we want, too. The blinds are always open and I'm always up before 2pm. Life is good and I am so thankful.

Depression is very real and it will hit you like a ton of bricks without you ever even realizing it. Don't be afraid to reach out because you will never make it through this alone. I'm so glad I found the light at the end of my tunnel and I just want to encourage you to hang in there, because you will too.