eats

Alcoholic Orange Slush

Melissa here. Tomorrow, Joey and I are posting about our recent trip to Tampa, Florida to visit my family! On that trip, we drank what I call, “My Mom’s Famous Slush.” But she’ll be quick to correct you that her friend, Margie, was actually the one to give her the recipe.

Either way, it’s famous to me, because my mom made it every year when we would go to the beach for a week on summer vacation. I was never allowed to drink it, because it was alcoholic. But I’ve finally gotten a taste, and I had to share it with you!


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 9 cups water
  • (1) 12-ounce can frozen orange juice
  • (1) 12-ounce can frozen limeade
  • (1) 12-ounce can frozen lemonade
  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 liter bottle of Squirt

Directions:

Boil water. Add sugar, Cool. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT Squirt. Freeze overnight. Remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve “slushy” by breaking into chunks and pouring 3/4 bottle of Squirt over the slush. Mix and serve.


This time around, my mom couldn’t find Squirt, so she added a lemon-lime soda and froze it into the mix. Additionally, I made the ultimate vacation decision to add a “floater” – an extra shot of vodka on top of the served cup of slush. This made for an even boozier frozen treat.


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This is what the slush would look like before adding a floater!

It’s hard to escape the heat of summer, but I promise this orange slush will get you close!

 

life

Movie Review – Like Father

This week, you get a dual review! On our way to Tampa to visit family, we both watched Netflix’s new movie, “Like Father.” Featuring a killer cast, including Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer, and Seth Rogen, “Like Father” explores the story of workaholic Rachel, who is left at the altar on the same day her estranged father, Harry, decides to come back into her life. Drunkenly, they start to reconnect, and Rachel unintentionally invites Harry on her honeymoon, a cruise to the Caribbean.


Melissa’s Review

4 out of 5 stars

Although Rotten Tomatoes only gives the film a ~50%, I stand by my 80% review. Despite having some very dramatic moments, “Like Father” had me laughing out loud on our plane ride. Not only does the movie illustrate the importance of being present, it accurately depicts a father-daughter dynamic (even though this father and daughter pair are just meeting again after 25 years). Although the movie is a predictable, feel-good reunification story (and probably something I won’t watch again), it’s a movie I’ll look back on and remember laughing. I will also remember the incredible chemistry the actors, especially Bell and Grammer, had with one another. If you have Netflix, I recommend. It’s a fun and easy 1.5-hour watch!


Joey’s Review

4 out of 5 starts

This movie was exactly what I was hoping it would be; a little far-fetched, laugh out loud funny moments, and slightly corny self-realization story line. It was a great movie to watch on a flight when we didn’t feel like reading or napping that left me feeling satisfied about how I spent 90 minutes of my life. If you are looking to escape the heat this weekend without spending $50 at the movies, look no further!

Like Father

eats

Almond Coconut Banana Bread

We know the recipe sounds weird. Why add anything to banana bread but chocolate chips? That’s our typical go-to. But we had sliced almonds and shredded coconut on hand, and it made for an incredibly sweet, rich, and textured banana bread. We’re excited to share it with you!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (split)
  • 1 cup sweet coconut, shredded (split)
  • 2 loaf pans, greased

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep two large loaf pans by greasing.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add eggs, almond milk, and vanilla and stir until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet slowly.
  6. Follow immediately by adding mashed bananas.
  7. Mix just until combined.
  8. Add in 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
  9. Pour into prepared pans.
  10. Sprinkle a layer of sliced almonds on top, and lightly sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. This adds extra texture and makes the bread very photogenic!
  11. Bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  12. Let cool in pans, remove, serve, and enjoy!

You’ll have to let us know if you end up baking this tasty treat!

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life

Book Review: “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder

It’s Melissa again, reporting for my Book Club! We recently wrapped up “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder. After reading “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel” by Gail Honeymoon, we chose this “erotic fantasy” as our July book  to shake things up, and we made a big mistake… But at least a 5-star night was planned to discuss.


1.5 out 5 stars

“The Pisces” by Melissa Broder tells the story of emotionally unstable Lucy, who has taken nine years to write her dissertation on Sappho. She has coasted through life on university research checks, and hits a new wall when she breaks up with her long-time boyfriend. Her concerned sister invites her to spend the summer away in Los Angeles, so she can escape her problems in Phoenix. During her summer away dog-sitting her sister’s beloved Dominic in her multi-million dollar glass box beach home, Lucy falls in love with a merman named Theo, who she meets on the rocks of Venice Beach – just a wagon ride away from her sister’s house. (Anyone who has read the book will get my wagon reference.)

I’m not one to typically be critical, but this book is just not good. Despite all the hype around mermen with Shape of Water being nominated for so many awards, this book is  simple and disgusting. I felt like I was losing brain cells while reading. The only reason I’m giving it a 1.5 out of 5 stars is because there were some moments you can relate to, especially if you have ever been a female in the modern dating world. However, this tragic book touches on so many disturbing moments I feel would have been better off not read. There’s nothing erotic about this fantasy. In fact, I think it should have been called a neurotic fantasy.

There were six of us at Book Club this week, and we all agreed this book was just too much and too weird. We hated the main character, Lucy, so much that we didn’t even feel comfortable picking an actress to play her, because there’s no actress we hate enough.

On a sort of irrelevant side note, I thought of one more positive I took from the book. In the book, Lucy visits Abbot Kinney fairly often. Abbot Kinney is a strip of shops and restaurants close to Venice Beach, which I will say the author does a great job of illustrating. After reading, I had a trip to Los Angeles planned to visit a friend (which you can read about here), and I was able to see the infamous Abbot Kinney strip Lucy throws up on, buys sexy lingerie from, and more. So that was cool, I guess?


Our Host, Hayley

My friend, Hayley, hosted Book Club this week, and here’s what she had to say about everything, which I think sums it all up perfectly:

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If for some reason you’re still inclined to read “The Pisces” by Melissa Broder, you can at least get some great ideas from Hayley’s wonderfully themed evening:

 

There was sushi, “seaweed” (grapes on a stick), spiced edamame, cute little oyster cookies with edible pearls included, and let’s not forget the bite-sized brownies with fish sprinkles. Oh, and there was champagne and wine, because there was no way to survive discussing this book without it.


Our August Pick

I’m excited for us to return to a Reese’s Book Club novel this month. If you want to keep up with what we’re reading, my Book Club is currently reading and set to discuss on Wednesday, September 5, 2018:

“Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A Novel” by Balli Kaur Jaswal

eats

BGE Italian Sausage Pizza

One of our favorite things to make on the Big Green Egg is pizza – or as we like to pronounce it “preet-zah” when we’re being playful. This is probably our third time making pizza on the BGE, and this may be the best one we have made so far.

Let’s start with the dough…


Joey’s Dough Recipe

This was my first time making dough from scratch, and let me tell you, it is worth the effort.

Ingredients (makes two crusts):

  • 4 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (one packet)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water

Directions:

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and run through a sifter to ensure there aren’t any lumps.
  2.  Turn your mixer on low and slowly add in the olive oil and then the warm water.  Turn the mixer off once the dough becomes sticky to the touch and all dry ingredients have been mixed-in.
  3. Let the dough rest for 2ish minutes while you coat two medium to large bowl with a light coat of olive oil.  This step is key so you don’t have a sticky mess later and adds a little extra flavor!
  4. Split the dough between the two bowls, cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge to rise until you’re ready to cook. *You can let it rise overnight but  might want to use larger bowls than the ones we used.*

 

Next, let’s talk toppings…


We Called It A “Pesto Italian Sausage Pizza”

On our preet-za, we put:
  • Classico pesto sauce to your liking
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/8 medium red onion, sliced
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Grilled Italian sausage, sliced

Our pesto sauce came from a jar this time, because it was a busy week. (But we’re impressed with the pesto sauce Classico makes!) In hindsight, we only wished we would have drained the sauce a little bit, because it ended up being a little more oily on the pizza than we would have preferred. Either way, doesn’t Joey look great holding that ZA?

 

Cooking the “Preet-Za”:
  1. After you cook the sausage, set your BGE to 450 degrees indirect while you cut and prepare the toppings. We arrange the plate setter with the legs up and place the grilling grate on the legs to cook on.
  2.  Remove one of your dough crusts from the fridge and dust your rolling surface with flour. We found that it is much easier to roll the dough while it is still cold and if you dust the rolling pin with flour too.
  3. Once you have the dough to the size you want, sprinkle your pizza stone with corn meal and place the dough onto the stone. (Some people use parchment paper instead of corn meal but we prefer the extra texture the corn meal adds.)
  4. Lightly brush your dough with olive oil and add your toppings.
  5. When the BGE is up to temp, place your stone on the grate and close the dome.
  6. Melt some butter, and 15 minutes after putting the preet-za on, brush the crust with the melted butter and let the preet-za cook for about 15-20 more minutes.
  7. It’s up to you how done you want your crust, but we typically let the pizza cook 30-40 minutes.
  8. Cut it up and enjoy! Cheers!!

Here’s what the final product looked like:

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We will definitely make this one again!

life

Girls Trip: Los Angeles, CA

Melissa here. I’m three weeks overdue with this post, but I’m excited to tell you more about my mid-July trip to Los Angeles to visit one of my best friends, Heather! Heather and I have known each other since high school. We ran cross country together, and served on student council together. Most recently, she stood by Joey and me on our wedding day. We’ve had so many sleepovers I’ve lost count, but none of them compare to our most recent sleepover in LA.


Importance of Girls Trips

Have you seen the movie “Girls Trip” yet? It’s hysterical and reminds you of the important role your friends play in your life. Sometimes, you just need to get away with your girls and talk about girly things – like what types of face wash you’re using nowadays and what happened on your latest date.

Although my girls trip to LA didn’t have drama like the movie (Thank, God.), it did allow me to reconnect with one of my best friends. Heather and I haven’t lived in the same city since graduating high school in 2009. We catch up as often as we can, but nothing beats a long weekend exploring, beaching, dining, and lounging.


Exploring Los Angeles

Friday

My flight landed around 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. We headed straight to the Venice Beach area to see the sunset. As the temperatures dropped quickly to a chilly 68 degrees (don’t judge me), I forced us to retreat to Heather’s apartment in Marina del Rey. There, I was able to drop off my suitcase and put on a jacket. Then, we took a Lyft over to Abbott Kinney to eat at The Butcher’s Daughter. The wait was about 45 minutes, so we walked down to The Brig for drinks. Heather ordered a Mexican Mule, and I had my typical Gin and Tonic. When our table was ready at The Butcher’s Daughter, we settled in with a glass of their house red wine. Over great conversation, we enjoyed our vegetarian Carbonara and Risotto. Everything was delicious! After dinner, we went back to Heather’s and passed out. We wanted to conserve our energy for an unplanned busy Saturday.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, we heated up microwaveable breakfast sandwiches (don’t judge us) and got iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. We were in a rush to get to the Griffith Observatory, so I could see the Hollywood sign for the first time. This was my first trip to Los Angeles, and I told Heather, “I don’t care what we do as long as we get to see the Hollywood sign.” After taking a million pictures in front of the sign alongside a million other tourists, we explored the observatory some more, and Heather showed me the LA neighborhoods from a cool vantage point.

After the Hollywood sign, we ventured over to Hermosa Beach, where we met up with some of Heather’s friends. Everyone was so nice and even shared their pizza with me after Heather and I skipped lunch to rush over to the beach. The weather was absolutely perfect – high of 75 with not a cloud in the sky. Even though the water was a bit too cold for me, it was incredible to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean. It’s not something I get to do too often! We laid out for a few hours.

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After beaching, we headed to the Hermosa pier to eat. As a group, we all checked out The Baked Bear, which puts ice cream in between two cookies. Heather and I split our ice cream sandwich, and then split off from the group to get a real meal. I ordered a chicken sandwich and Heather ordered a burger from American Junkie off Hermosa Pier. The food was your typical bar food, but you couldn’t beat sitting on the pier while the sun sets in the distant.

After exploring Hermosa Beach, we relaxed at Heather’s apartment and called it another early night. Beaching ain’t easy.

Sunday

On Sunday morning, we woke up to go to brunch at The Misfit in Santa Monica. Another one of my bridesmaids and best friends, Meredith, was also in LA to visit her sister, Angela. (I promise we didn’t plan our overlap.) It was so fun watching my two worlds collide in Santa Monica. We had such a fun time eating way too much food. I ordered a Bloody Mary, salmon toast, and Brussels sprouts. (DID YOU KNOW THAT’S HOW BRUSSELS SPROUTS ARE SPELLED?) It was all so yummy!

From there, Heather and I ventured to the Santa Monica pier where we took a lot more photos. We decided we hadn’t eaten enough (not really, but the views were unbeatable), so we stopped in at Mariasol, where I had the best Piña Colada ever. There were also chips and salsa, which you can never turn down. Our seats overlooked the end of the pier, where there was an entertaining street singer. After a lot of uncomfortable staring, Heather and I both decided he was lip syncing. Nonetheless, his 1990’s/2000’s alternative covers were fun(ny).

For some reason, Heather and I were so tired. We ended up going back to Heather’s apartment to nap. We woke up just in time to eat dinner. Sunday was definitely our foodie day. For dinner, we headed to ROC at Playa Vista, where Heather’s roommate ordered everything for us. We had scallion pancakes, crab fried rice, soup dumplings, garlic green beans, and pork wraps. I doubt those are the Taiwanese titles of the dishes, but I never saw the menu and appreciate the nicknames. I left feeling so happily stuffed.

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After dinner, we stayed up and chatted for a while about so many topics. From foster care and adoption to discrimination. Again, we went to bed early, because my flight was out of LAX at 7:00 a.m. I was so sad for this trip to come to an end.


Thanks, Heather!

Thanks for generously hosting me for a long weekend in LA, Heather! I appreciate you playing tour guide, and not over scheduling our weekend. I loved our chats and just being able to relax on the beach. I can’t wait to do it again. Thanks for an amazing Girls Trip!

dogs, life

TPLO Surgery Update

It’s been two weeks since we last posted. So much has happened. We’re excited to get back to our regular posting schedule, but wanted to give you an update on our sweet pup first.


Side note: Thank you to all who contributed to our GoFundMe page. You raised $480 in three days, which helped put us in a better position to pull the trigger on Regal’s TPLO surgery. We can never repay you for your generosity, but we hope you enjoyed the cute Polaroids Regal shot for you. Thank you so much!

Monday, July 30, 2018: Consult With Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists

If were weren’t down on our luck enough, we had some trouble with our first orthopedic consult where we first discovered Regal’s ACL was torn. The first place (Gulf Cost Veterinary Specialists) wanted to charge us more than what a typical TPLO costs ($2,000 more), because they only do a fancy, unnecessary procedure in conjunction with the TPLO surgery. They didn’t tell us that there were other, just-as-effective, and less expensive options, which is what ultimately made us the most upset.

But after talking with Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists on the phone, we knew this would be the right fit for us. Joey took Regal to his consult appointment. On just three legs, Regal limped in, acting as a ham, per the usual. He received lots of pets and was a champ! He handled the poking and prodding and didn’t become upset until he was back in his room after the exam. The orthopedic surgeon team there confirmed he did tear his ACL, and Regal needed the TPLO surgery. Luckily, they had an appointment open for the next day.

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Regal at his consult appointment at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists

Monday night was rough, because you continually have these thoughts that it might be the end of the road for you and your best friend. Also, instead of being able to just lay around and snuggle, we had to give Regal an anti-septic bath. Regal hates baths, and to make matters worse, you have to leave this special soap on for 10 minutes before rinsing. The poor guy couldn’t even rush to his favorite part of bath time, which is toweling off. He was mad at us the rest of the night, which made Melissa even more emotional.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018: Regal’s Surgery

We woke up bright and early to try and ensure Regal was the first surgery of the day. There are no guarantees, but we dropped him off as early as we could at 7:00 a.m. When dropping him off, the surgical team sat down with us and walked us through what to expect. We handed over some food and treats, and then, handed over Regal. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach started.

Around 10:30 a.m., the surgical team said Regal was prepped and ready for surgery. They were waiting for the anesthesia to kick in to take him for updated radio-graphs and  surgery. This is when Melissa’s stomach pit grew larger, and she could feel it in the back of her throat until she received the next call…

At about 2:00 p.m., the wonderful Dr. Bubenik called to say Regal was out of surgery. The surgery had gone great, but they did find that Regal had also torn his meniscus. They were forced to remove part of that tissue too. But she expected Regal would still make a full recovery. Melissa’s pit returned to stomach only.

At 4:00 p.m., the surgical team called to tell us Regal was awake. They were letting him slowly wake up and rest, but they were going to try to get him to eat and go on a walk soon. They said at around 8:00 p.m. they would send us a picture update.

These are the pictures Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists sent us that night (aka Regal on drugs):

Wednesday, August 1, 2018: Reunited With Regal

Although knowing Regal was doing OK, it was still hard to sleep well Tuesday night. When we woke up on Wednesday morning, the surgical team called to setup a pickup time. We landed on 4:00 p.m. When we arrived, we spent about 45 minutes talking with Linda (She is so great!) about post-operation procedures for Regal.

We learned our new, daily routine for the next 6+ weeks will look like this:

  • Warm compress for 10 minutes.
  • Walk on leash for 10 minutes.
  • Physical therapy exercise one: Knee Flexion and Extension
  • Physical therapy exercise two: Weight Shifting (Side-To-Side)
  • Cold compress for 10 minutes.
  • Administer 4-6 pills.
  • Feed boiled chicken to ensure there’s food in the belly.
  • Repeat 1-2 more times per day.

I’m not sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into. After being a little overwhelmed by PT exercises, we were finally reunited with Bubba:

It made our new daily routine seem worth it. That’s when the pit in Melissa’s stomach finally went away.


Post-Operation Regal

Since Regal’s surgery on August 1st, he has been doing great, but only because of some very special people:

  • The team at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists: Thank you for walking us through everything to expect. You recognize our pets are our children, and our concern runs deep. The detail you put into your work eased us during an incredibly “ruff” time, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the step-by-step instructions and videos.
  • Meredith and Colton Beall: Thank you for taking over post-operative duties while we traveled to see our family on a nonrefundable trip. We could never repay you for showing up for us and our little champ. (Sorry he hated taking his pills.)
  • Our friends and family: Thank you for continually checking in. We appreciate getting to tell you how Regal is, because it reminds us that he is going to be just fine.
  • Supporters: An additional thanks to those who helped make this surgery possible. Without you, we would be a lot more stressed.
  • Olivia Craig: For sending us cupcakes and pupcakes from Sprinkles. You made us feel a little bit sweeter about the situation we were in.

Regal still has a long road to recovery, with a follow-up Monday, and another check-up in four weeks – but from what we can see, he is going to make a full recovery, and be able to live a normal, active, playful life again soon. Now, if only we could get him to take his pills more easily. <Insert frustrated because our dog is stubborn faces here.>

Our post-surgery pup, Regal, and delicious cupcakes and pupcakes thanks to our sweet friend, Olivia.

 

dogs, life

Bad Luck Comes In Threes

There is an old saying that bad luck comes in threes, and let us tell you, it hit us hard recently. It’s why we haven’t been as active as we would have liked to be on here – especially this past week.

We encourage you to lean in, learn more, and maybe even help us conquer this bad luck curse.


Floating On Air

Do you ever feel like you’re floating on air? Like everything is going your way? But you try to remain humble about it all? Because well, you know, Karma’s a bitch?

All we try to do is put out positivity, and hope it comes back to us. It typically works until God decides we left Earth for a little too long, and He doesn’t want us just floating any longer.

Everything was going great here! I mean we recently launched this blog to share our love for life, eats, and dogs. We got people interested in writing for our page. We gained followers in family, friends, and strangers.

And then, our bad luck curse hit…


Bad Luck #1

About four weeks ago, Joey was on his way home from a Houston Astros baseball game. Despite being a year to Houston, Joey hasn’t spent much time navigating downtown. Being a later workday than normal, Joey switched his brain to autopilot and followed the car in front of him turning left on a one-way downtown street. Unfortunately, Joey missed his red light, and side swiped a car coming through the intersection on their green.

Thankfully, no one was injured. But “Big Red,” Joey’s 2003 Nissan X-Terra was totaled. And just for that, this day will forever live in infamy.

Joey takes full responsibility for this accident, but it meant we had to purchase a new car. Not knowing what our bad luck fate held, we opted to get Joey what he really wanted (and what was practical for us), since he had been driving a 15-year-old car. “Big Red” had her learner’s permit for goodness sake! We ended up buying a 2017 Toyota 4Runner with 30k miles through Hertz Auto Sales. We were hoping to write a blog on our shopping experience with them, but our bad luck continued…


Bad Luck #2

As everyone knows by now, when it rains in Houston, it pours.

We feel so blessed to have survived Hurricane Harvey with no damage to the house we had only bought and moved into two months before the storm decided to camp itself over our town. We watched as water creeped about five feet from our house, and then quickly and luckily receded through the baby canals on our street. Although we were on an island for a week, we were so much better off than so many others.

We felt like we really needed to say that before we complained about our Bad Luck #2.

Since Melissa has lived here, Houston has had Memorial Day flooding and Tax Day flooding, which our little 1950s house has survived. However, most recently, during the Independence Day flooding (PSA – Dear Houston, you need to stop celebrating holidays with floods.), our 1950s home had endured too much.

As the rain came in sheets, and Fourth of July parades were canceled, we noticed our dining room ceiling showed a little leak, while our kitchen ceiling revealed a substantial leak. We were able to get to the leak in the dining room and put a bucket under the drip, but the leak dripping into the kitchen ceiling was unreachable. The water continued to spread across the room. Thankfully, Joey thought to poke holes where the water was sitting and moving to, which allowed the water to drain out of our ceiling.

What was supposed to be a day spent on the Big Green Egg was spent talking to our insurance company, inquiring with emergency roofing companies, and asking around for recommendations. Luckily, the rain subsided (and still hasn’t really returned since that day), which has allowed us to fix our roof and ceiling.

We thought this would be our last headache, but we had obviously forgotten about the bad luck curse, and the worst of our bad luck hit us very hard…


Bad Luck #3

One of our last posts was on Regal – about a small limp and a recent trip to the vet. We wish we had better news to tell you, but we’ll just spit it out: Regal tore his ACL and needs surgery.

<Insert picture of Melissa ugly sobbing.>

To make a long story longer, about three weeks ago, we noticed Regal, had a small limp. We took him to our vet, where he was put on an anti-inflammatory and advised to rest. We followed the vet’s directions, but Melissa left town for a trip. When she came home a few days later, Regal was so excited to see his mom that he over exerted himself, and all of a sudden lost all mobility in one of his hind legs!

We immediately rushed him to have X-Rays done, and we were referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon said Regal had fully torn his ACL, and he was recommending TPLO surgery. TPLO, or tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy, is a surgery performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL). Although there are other surgical options other than a TPLO that are less expensive, for a young active dog like Regal, a TPLO is usually the gold standard treatment with quickest return to normal function.

For those of you who don’t know him, Regal is happiest when he’s running through the dog park, chasing balls across the yard, swimming in the lake, rolling in the grass, and sprawled across the couch with his head in your lap. Without this surgery, Regal may never get to experience his favorite things in the same way again. And that breaks our heart.

Regal at the orthopedic surgeon’s office being a champ.

This leads us to an ask for help we never wanted to make, but feel like we have to, because every little bit helps…

Although we know there’s so many worthy causes out there to support, we’d love for you to consider supporting Regal and us through our GoFundMe page. We feel silly even asking, because typically we’re asking you to support foster care and adoption, which makes a difference for so many at-risk children. But as newlyweds with bad luck hitting them with the curse of threes, we’re left in a less than ideal financial situation.

We’ve decided to cancel our 1-year anniversary trip to pay for half of the $5,000 surgery, but we are hoping some generous friends, family members, and strangers will help to pitch in for Regal and for us. Every little bit helps!

We won’t ask anymore than this, but please consider donating to our page here. Thanks for considering!


In Summary

The saying is true… Bad luck does come in threes.

And although that bad luck caused our wallets to be empty, our glasses are still very full. As newlyweds out to conquer the world, we are grateful to have each other, you, and this platform to share our lives. We promise there is a lot less complaining to come, more Big Green Egg recipes, and updates on our champ, Regal.

Love,

Melissa & Joey

life

Our Prime Day Buy

We’re really excited about our Prime Day purchase this year: Two DNA testing kits.

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Originally $199 per “Ancestry + Health” kit, we got them for $99 on Prime Day!

It looks like 23andMe is continuing to run a sale, offering these kits at $139 currently. Check it out here. We encourage you to take this journey with us!

Or you can wait and see what we think! Although, we might have a biased opinion since Melissa is adopted… She’ll be excited to learn about anything!

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Melissa when we get the results.

Either way, we’re excited to learn more about where we came from, and what we can learn from our genes. We’ll know more in six to eight weeks!

dogs

Being A Dog Parent

The Limp

Melissa here. This week was a tough dog parent week for me. Being a dog parent is typically very easy, especially with a dog like Regal. He is low maintenance and just appreciates playtime and snuggles. However, for the last two weeks or so, he’s been limping. It’s very sporadic! It typically only happens after playtime or after he’s been curled up for a long time.

Joey and I thought it could be his nails (maybe one had cracked and was causing him pain), but after further investigation and the miserable process of trimming all of his nails, Regal was still limping. He does not seem to be in any pain. There are no whines or yelps. Just this limp in his back leg that keeps me wide awake at night.


Awake At Night

I’m awake because 1) I’m worried. As dog parents, we have this constant battle with ourselves. A constant internal conversation:

“Do we take him to the vet? Will it be better tomorrow? He doesn’t seem like he’s in pain. He’s eating. Begging to play. But he’s limping. Poor guy. I wish he could tell me what’s wrong!”

I’m also awake because 2) Regal is circling our bed more. *Tap, Tap Tap* We think it’s because he’s apprehensive to jump… Probably because his back leg hurts.

WORRYING WORSENS.

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Trip To The Vet

On Sunday, I decided it was time to call the vet. They set me up with an appointment for Monday afternoon. All I could think about was how Regal was going to be so mad at me. Regal hates the vet. He loves all the people there, but when they want to check him out, he thinks he’s in trouble, that he’s done something wrong. He hides under benches and tries to escape through the front and exam room doors.

This trip was no different. In Regal’s eyes, he was tortured. And the worst part is: We have no diagnosis yet.

For now, Regal is on a prescription for a two-week anti-inflammatory. If that doesn’t clear up his limp, we will have to take him in for X-Rays to see if there is a fracture (which he isn’t displaying signs of) or he’s developed hip dysplasia or osteoporosis (which is common in larger breed dogs).


Post Vet

Post vet trip, Regal remains moody, because he can’t enjoy one of his favorite past times, playtime. Additionally, he’s FORCED to take a pill everyday. Although it’s coated with chicken pâté, he still smells the pill, and hides for an hour after I give it to him. He’s very sensitive. This takes away from his second favorite past time: snuggling.

Now, There’s Me Crying

Regal – Playtime and Snuggles = Me Crying

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m emotional. After Monday’s vet visit, I found myself holding Regal in bed sobbing, telling him, “I’m sorry for a tough day.” This leads me to the last point about being a dog parent:

Do you think they know how much we love them?

I hope so! What do you think?

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