psa: we rescued a pitbull and she was the cutest pup ever…besides Caya & Inca

A few weeks ago I was looking out the window and saw a pooch I didn’t recognize running around in a neighbor’s yard.  I immediately grabbed a coat, my phone, and a leash and set out after her 🙂  After following her around for a bit and watching her interact with a neighborhood pup who had also gotten out, I ran back home to grab Caya and the two of us led the new pooch into our backyard.  Caya and the new pup got along really well for the couple of minutes they spent in the backyard together 🙂  Brett and I coaxed the new pup into the car and off to the vet we all went!


At the vet we discovered that this new pooch wasn’t microchipped.  (PSA….get your animals microchipped!)  Animal Control was closed for the holiday so the only other option was to take her home with us 🙂  The next day I was able to call everyone in the area who seemed relevant to our situation.  I learned that Animal Control has jurisdiction over animals found in Champaign County for the first 7 days after they are rescued.  After 7 days, if the animal passes a personality test, the animal is taken to the Humane Society if the Humane Society has space.  Another option was to keep the animal for 7 days, waiting for the previous owners to call in asking about their lost pet.  After 7 days the animal belongs to their new home.  Brett and I decided that we didn’t need this cute pooch to wait out 7 days in a cage at Animal Control and so we settled her into our downstairs 🙂


Over the course of the week that we had her, the new pooch was named (temporarily) Vara.  The nerd in Brett wanted to name her Var, for the temporary variables (var) that one codes with.  I joked that Var 0 and Var 1 were horrible names for a pup and started calling her Varie.  After about half a day of this her name transformed to Vara since the rest of the pooches in our home end in -a  🙂


I tested the limits of Vara as much as I could so that I knew I was giving as much information about her personality to people who might want to give her a permanent home.  I played with her and toys.  I messed around with a bowl next to her food while she was eating.  I made loud noises around her, pulled on her tail (gently haha), and messed with her head.  Vara was kind and playful the entire time we had her with us.  Given the lack of information about her though, Brett and I had the plan to keep Vara separate from our pups for the first week that we had her.  When Caya got downstairs one night, Vara was already in her crate for bed and the two of them were wagging their tails so ferociously and whining to play with one another…it was really cute 🙂  Inca wasn’t sure about the new arrival though haha

Vara was so responsive to petting!  When you scratched her back she contorted herself against you every time!  The first time she lowered her haunches as I scratched her back I thought she was going to pee on the carpet!  hahaha 🙂  (she didn’t though)




Since we kept her downstairs most of the time and crated her while we all slept, I only ever saw the pup sleep once.  🙂  Otherwise she was pacing and playful and full of TONS of energy!






Vara was definitely a pitbull.  She had all of the distinctive physical traits of her breed.  And you know what else?  She was loving, friendly, and playful, showing no signs of any sort of aggression.  After having her for a week, Brett and I were able to find her a forever home.  She visited her new family for a trial weekend and ended up staying 🙂  Brett and I miss her but we are both so glad that she has a wonderful family to live with 🙂


Illini games :)

My dad has season basketball tickets for the Fighting Illini Men’s basketball team this year.  He and my little brother, Lucas, have been making their way up north for the games whenever they can 🙂  Sometimes Brett and I go to the games if my dad can’t make it….but my dad is a pretty loyal Illini fan 🙂






starting a small business

So far, I have found starting a small business to be a series of puzzles…basically things that I need to sort out one by one until everything can fall together into place.  Most of the puzzles I have found to be a lot of fun.  I’ve learned some of the techniques described by The Lean Startup and have successfully put together a business model canvas.  I’ve had help from Brett designing a website that will meet the needs of each anticipated customer segment.  I’ve had a LOT of fun figuring out what my site needs to feel like, look like, and offer…and how I can go about trying to make a living from the site.

The puzzle that I have been putting off for a week now (finally got it done, woot!) has been some of the paperwork involved in forming a small business.  🙂  For some reason, figuring out how to register a “doing business as” name, getting whatever license/certification I need to buy things at wholesale, and how to officially register my business seemed unnecessarily complicated and scary!  Let me tell you though, the million sites that I needed to wade through in order to figure out those pieces of info were not always helpful in dissuading my fears and anxieties about the whole process!  haha 🙂  There didn’t seem to be a one-stop place where I could figure everything out….lots and lots of following every link on a page was happening.  I think I had over 100 tabs open at one point 🙂

So far, I have figured out exactly what tax forms are necessary and required and how they each work (though…maybe it will finally be time to hire a tax person next year? haha)  I have sorted through how to estimate a small business’s estimated quarterly taxes, what those taxes go towards, and what the different between income tax and self employment tax is.  I have discovered what an employer identification number is and who needs one and what retail licenses exist within the state of Illinois.


I’ve figured out the somewhat ridiculous process of registering an assumed name for a business in Champaign County (including filing the forms, publishing the info for 3 weeks in a local paper, and then filing the forms given from the paper), how to register myself as an official Illinois business under this assumed name, and how to buy things at wholesale to then resell them so that sales tax doesn’t get collected twice.  Every site I found, whether it was from the IRS, the US Small Business Administration, or another random site, had slightly different information with slightly different wording.  It took quite a bit of dilligence and bookmarking of webpages to figure it all out.  I saved forms, took notes which then were starred, arrowed, and underlined as more information became clear and relevant.  I made some calls to make sure I understood the next couple of steps that I needed to take and planned out a day of literally driving around town taking care of some of the local forms and paperwork.  Whew!  🙂


I am very excited that this next major step of registering as an official business owner in the state of Illinois under an assumed name has been almost taken care of!  My notice is currently being published in the Champaign News Gazette for three weeks.  The paper will then issue me Proof of Publication that I take back to the County Clerks office.  Then I officially register with the state and voila!  🙂

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation yet?!  😉  I will let you in on the rest of the details within the next month if all goes well!

a weekend of home improvements

Lucas and my dad came up to Champaign a little after new years for a weekend of home improvements.  We converted a number of 2-pronged outlets to 3-pronged grounded ones, schemed on how best to fix the dark downstairs bathroom, installed a new shower head downstairs, sealed an opening to the attic that was causing our heat to escape, and discovered that if we shut the door to the downstairs both levels of the house stay a more comfortable temperature 🙂  Gotta love home ownership!blog_aroundthehouse_1


Inca and I spent a bit of the outlet converting time just keeping my dad and Brett company 🙂


The pups all had a pretty good time too.  Caya worked hard the whole weekend!


Inca and Patches (they are litter mates!) played almost the whole time!




And all of the dogs spent a lot of time going inside and outside, inside and outside, inside and outside…. 🙂  This is three of them all waiting to go outside

blog_aroundthehouse_5All in all a pretty productive couple of days 🙂


snow snow everywhere!

We had quite a bit of snow in Champaign-Urbana last week (as did much of the midwest)  🙂

After snuggling in bed for a few hours that morning…




…we all decided to brave the elements for a snow walk outside.  Snow walks are my favorite 🙂  There is fewer traffic on the road and the pups love the snow



When we got back home, Brett and I decided to shovel.  We admit that it was still definitely a snow storm outside…but that which one shovels now, one doesn’t have to shovel later.  That is a real saying right?  😉

Right after shoveling, the driveway and sidewalk looked like this…


One hour later they looked like this…


And a few hours later they looked like this 🙂


Needless to say some hot cocoa was required to warm back up!


Brett and I putzed around the house doing random things and working throughout the day.  By the next day the snowing had stopped but it was soooo cold outside 🙂  Brett and I worked from home while the city slowly plowed all of the streets.  Lots more snuggling was had by all too 🙂  I think that is my favorite part 🙂  (and the hot cocoa of course…who can’t resist chocolate?)  🙂



Brett and I hope that you all have been able to stay warm!