Things I Wish I Knew

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#KyloTheMountainDog officially hit double digits! 10 months old, that is. He celebrated on Thanksgiving with a long walk through the woods and some turkey giblets. Now that he is finally starting to exit his destructive puppy stage, I thought I'd reflect back on puppyhood and the things I wish I'd known at the time.

  1. Buy some earplugs. You know how they say you're supposed to let a crying baby cry so it doesn't get used to being picked up instantly? Well, you should let a whining puppy whine, too. But man, one certain Bernese Mountain Dog whined LOUDLY and non-stop for the first month of his life with us. We didn't get a good night's sleep for weeks! I remember going to the grocery store and just sitting in the car in the parking lot and enjoying the peace and quiet for a few minutes. It was heaven! If only we had spent $2 on a pack of squishy orange earplugs, puppyhood may have been less exhausting!
  2. Never underestimate what pups will use as a chew toy.** Read all about that here. Currently, the rug in our den seems to scream, "pick me!" but always having real chew toys readily available seems to help tremendously! We try to keep his favorites toys on rotation so he doesn't get bored playing with the same ones all the time. When we bring one back out, he gets so excited! He also really likes koozies.........whatever, dude.
  3. Taking a puppy to a patio bar will mean you have to talk to strangers for hours! Great if you're single, not great if you're married and looking for a quiet, relaxing day with your spouse and no one else. Maybe consider renting said puppy out to your single friends at an hourly rate? Ha! Kidding. Kind of. 
  4. Puppies like schedules.  My husband and I both work full time, so our schedules are pretty consistent Monday through Friday. After a few weeks of potty training, we started to notice a reoccurring trend.......we always had a case of "poopy puppy" on the weekends. Whenever we changed up our schedule in the slightest, the poor little guy got all thrown off (as did his digestive system.....yuck)! We did a lot of crate scrubbing, towel washing and bath was not fun. Once we started trying to replicate his weekday potty and sleep schedule on Saturdays and Sundays, it helped tremendously.
  5. Don't worry, it gets better. When Kylo was a puppy, I caught myself saying "Chloe was never this bad!" all the time. However, I just read back on some old posts (here and here and here) and ya'll......she was definitely that bad! Maybe worse! Killing rabbits, pooping in the car and climbing out the car window while I was driving? Heavens! Knowing that she turned into the best dog in the universe gives me so much hope and reassurance for Kylo......even though he is already pretty great! 

In hind site, what would you have done differently with your pup? If you're looking for ideas on preparing your home/life for a puppy, check out and their No Puppy Mill Promise.

Thanks for reading! 



**We're anticipating the stuffed ornaments hung on the bottom of the Christmas tree to go missing soon....I expect to find them on someone's bed. 

The Martins Do Manhattan 2

NYC is without a doubt my favorite place to visit. I could go back on repeat and never get tired of it.

After seeing New York for the first time last fall, I demanded we make a return trip. I had to go back to several places (i.e.: Doughnut Plant) as well as mark some new ones off my ever-growing list.

After months of planning, researching, reading restaurant blogs, and creating maps and itineraries, it was finally time to turn my plans into a reality. If I was to do it all over again (boy, wouldn't that be nice!) these are the things I wouldn't change in the least:

1. Explore Central Park

It's a must!! Whether you walk, run, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, rent a bike, or whatever....GO! Especially if it is in the fall and the leaves are turning. This year, they were the most beautiful shade of mustard yellow with a few red trees here and there. We rented bikes and rode around for two hours. The park is HUGE - we even got lost a few times! Believe it or not, there were some hills in there that made me huff and puff. Although you are able to cover a lot more ground with a bike, there are a lot of smaller trails that bikes aren't allowed on, so I recommend taking the time to walk, too, as these areas typically have the best views!

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating in NYC at Christmas has been on my bucket list for forever and ever. It was my absolute favorite part of the entire trip - it was straight up magical! We skated at Bryant Park Winter Village because it was the only ice rink with Christmas decor up. We went first thing in the morning and there was hardly anyone there! The only downside was that most of the Christmas shops surrounding it weren't open yet, but that's OK. It was a rainy day, but I just pretended the rain was snow and it made it that much more magical.

3. See a Broadway Show

Last year we saw The Lion King and I didn't think anything could surpass it; this year, we saw Aladdin (clearly I choose the shows....). The costumes and decor weren't quite as over the top as in The Lion King, but the storyline was amazing and, in my opinion, much easier to follow. Also, I have to say, the actor who played Aladdin sang just like the Disney Aladdin's voice! I wanted to sing along but Cole wouldn't let me. Rude.

4. Wander through West Village / Greenwich Village

This is my favorite area of Manhattan to get lost in. I could take a picture of every single building, it is all so picturesque! If you have an afternoon with nothing to do, take a stroll through the streets, stop and sit on a park bench, and just enjoy. You'll find plenty of adorable restaurants, ice cream and coffee shops and bakeries and even a few "famous" places! The F.R.I.E.N.D.S. apartment and Carrie's apartment from Sex and the City are both located here! You might even see a celebrity - we saw Mario Batali!

5. Eat Your Heart Out

I've said it before and I'll say it again...every trip we take is more of a "food tour" of the city. It is glorious and gluttonous all at once. We hit a few restaurants up again (Doughnut Plant, Laduree and much yum) and tried a few new ones that are worth mentioning.

  • Catch - obviously a hip and popular place; it was poppin at 9:30 at night and we saw some NBA players! One of our favorite dishes of the entire trip was their Truffle Scallop Gnocchi. Yes and amen. 
  • Ivan Ramen - I feel like we've become ramen nerds. That ish is good, man. I ordered the Breakfast All Day ramen which was full of a cheesy sauce, an omelet and ham over whole wheat noodles. It was unlike any other ramen I've tried, and I loved it.

  • The Butcher's Daughter - this was by far the most instagramable place I've ever been to. We walked in and Cole said, "wow, this place was made for you!" White subway tile, wood countertops, pops of color, succulents errwhere! The food was meh (a little too "healthy" tasting for a vacation...ya feel me?) but the drinks....oh, the drinks! The best almond milk latte I've ever tasted and their fresh squeezed juice was the bee's knees. 
  • Joe's On Carmine - I requested we find a legit slice of New York style pizza and man, Joe's did not disappoint. The cheese was better than the pepperoni, but both were delicious and satisfying as can be.
  • Le Bernardin - we are really spoiled. Cole's parents were coming to NYC for a work conference so they scheduled their arrival a day early just to take us out to eat at their favorite restaurant. Let's just say they have very good taste. We went out with a bang and made our last night in New York one to remember. It was by far the best meal we've had in a looooonnnnngggg time (and that's saying a lot after a week in New York)! I had octopus, salmon, truffle pasta, ice wine, and a whole lot more. YUM. Thanks Joe and Pam! 
We also shopped in SoHo and on 5th Avenue, saw the World Trade Center Memorial, stopped by the Breakfast at Tiffany's house (and Tiffany's, of course), went to China Town, whispered across the walls at Grand Central and drank a LOT of coffee. It was a blast and I am already planning our 2017 trip to see the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular ;) 

What NYC places are on your list? 




White House on the Prairie

Incase you haven't already heard the news via Facebook, Snap, or Instagram.......we bought a house!!!!!!! A nearly 100-year-old house in need some love and TLC.

Our White House on the Prairie is a 1920 prairie four-square home in the Putnam Heights Historic District of Oklahoma City. It was a four bedroom, 1.5 bath, but we are turning it into a three bedroom, 2.5 bath. We are also knocking down some walls to open up the main living area, gutting the kitchen, facelifting both original bathrooms, redoing the floors in the sunroom and repainting EVERYTHING. I'm going for a farmhouse/industrial/chic blend (think pottery barn/restoration hardware/anthro) and it is going to be gorg. 
My Master Plan - Kitchen South Wall

So far, the remodeling process has been SO much fun (knock on wood). I channeled my inner-Joanna Gaines (I think I missed my calling in life as an interior designer.....) and drew up some plans for the kitchen and master suite - see right and below! It has been incredibly exciting to stop by everyday and see what our contractor has accomplished. I love seeing my vision come to life before my eyes! I can't wait for the finished product - from the cement sunroom floor to the chandelier in the master closet, I know it will be perfect! 

Side note: deciding on paint colors has been a more daunting task than I imagined....who knew there were 5,000 shades of white and grey?!

My Master Plan: Kitchen East Wall - Open to Dining Room

Before: Yuck.

During: Can we talk about the exposed brick? It makes me so happy.

This weekend we are picking out our kitchen floor and countertops and tackling the backyard. It is MASSIVE (Chloe and Kylo are pumped) but in need of some major clearing out. Boy oh boy! I love yard work! ;) Anyone want to help? I'll pay in the form of cheap beer and homemade Christmas cookies.

I will be sure to post some before, during, and after photos soon so you can follow along on our fixer upper journey!


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