Friday Links to Love

Meet Oliver

Our little Oliver when we first adopted him almost a year ago.

Happy Friday! We celebrated Oliver’s first birthday this week. Hard to believe how fast he’s growing up. That means it’s time for another one, right?

I’m excited to start sharing my new “Links to Love” series with you guys this week with my weekly favorites from all around this great internet.

1 | Can I just gawk over how cute this DIY watermelon stamped gift wrap is?
2 | Learn how to grow almost any plant in a pot – great for us apartment dwellers!
3 | Loving these little matcha almond tea cakes from Baking a Moment
4 | Rachel’s adorable April Fools joke over on The Crafted Life sort of made my week
5 | Check out these cute naturally died Easter eggs

I’m heading down to San Diego this weekend to spend Easter with my family, and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s one of the few occasions that I get to see my extended family, and hiding eggs for the little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Plus, my mom makes THE BEST brunch.

Happy Easter! What will you do this weekend?

Rope Scratching Post

DSC_0582We went a little overboard shopping for Oliver when we found out we’d be adopting him. I’m beginning to understand why parents go so crazy buying things for their kids. I spent 30 minutes just trying to decide which cat food was the best option for our little 4-month-old kitten. In the midst of our shopping, I decided that buying a $25 scratching post was just not for me. Instead, I decided to make one.

Because we have carpet in the bedrooms, I decided to go with a rope scratching post. You’re supposed to choose a type of material that isn’t in your house. For example, if you have carpet and have a carpet scratching post, your cat might think that scratching carpet is okay. We didn’t want that, but rope posts are a tad more expensive, especially for a good one.

Let me start off with a disclaimer – this is not as easy as it looks. What I expected to take me an hour took me three days to complete. Seriously. But it was worth it.

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To make this rope scratching post, you’ll need:

  • Square, tall piece of wood, approx. 2 feet tall and 4 inches thick
  • Square, thin piece of wood, approx. 1 foot across and 1 inch thick
  • Sandpaper
  • Sisal rope (medium thickness and several feet long)
  • Non-toxic wood glue (I suggest Gorilla Glue)
  • Drill
  • 4 long screws

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First, sand down the post and base with sandpaper if not already smooth. My post was pretty beat up (got it for FREE at Home Depot), so it needed quite a bit of sanding, especially around the newly cut area.

Then start gluing the end of the sisal rope at the top of the wooden post. You will slowly continue to glue down rope on each side of the post, wrapping it tightly around the pole. The reason this takes so long, particularly if you use Gorilla Glue, is because it does not dry instantly, and you have to hold it down until it’s sticky enough to stay, which can take a long time. The rope is thick and doesn’t bend and hold easily, so it needs the glue to keep it in place or it will instantly break away from the wood. Gorilla Glue is meant to set permanently after about 30 minutes. Once you have the first row glued down at the very top of the post, it gets a lot easier but is still rather time consuming. This top row will act as an anchor, making the following rows much easier to glue.

I found that doing three sides at a time was the best approach if I laid the post on its side, pushing down one side while the glue dried and gluing two more sides, laying a heavy book on top to hold down the rope while the glue dried enough to hold it in place. I’d let it set for a few minutes and do a few more sides.

It’s a lot of work, but I promise it’s worth it. The glue you choose can make all the difference, but you want to make sure it’s a non-toxic, wood-safe glue so that it won’t harm your cat if they lick the post, which is pretty likely. It also needs to be tough enough to handle constant scratching and pulling. After you have glued down the length of the post (I stopped about 4 inches short of the bottom of the post), you can begin fastening it to the base.

In order to ensure the post is sturdy, I’d recommend using four long screws to attach the post to the base – one in each corner. Position it in the middle of the square base, marking with a pencil and gluing with additional Gorilla Glue if necessary, and drill four holes into the bottom. Use the drill to screw the pieces together. They should feel very secure at this point.

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That’s all it takes. Only a few easy steps, but it can be a long project. Do it a little at a time while you work on other things, and it’ll be done in no time! So far, Oliver prefers scratching my couch, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he warms up to it. Overall this project only cost me about $13, and I get to say it was homemade, which is really the reason I do all of this in the first place!

July Recap

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IMAG1518 I guess you could say we took it easy this month. We’ve been working really hard to make our revamped apartment feel like home, and we’ve taken some time to relax as I’ve had some recent health issues keeping my energy down. July went by so quickly, I just can’t believe I’m already writing another monthly recap!

As you probably already know, the big news month is….we got a cat! Read more about our little Oliver here. He’s been with us for almost three weeks, and he’s gotten pretty comfortable (tearing up my new curtains, destroying his toys and wrecking havoc around our apartment). He’s adorable though, and he’s quite the cuddlebug. I absolutely love it.

IMG_4993IMG_4879Other than our little bundle of fur, we enjoyed a lot of family time this month. One of Andrew’s sisters recently moved to Los Angeles, so we’ve spent time with her as well as Andrew’s grandparents and cousins. My mom also came up to help me choose fabric for our curtains – my mom is a much, much better sewer than I am.

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We also attended Renegade Craft Fair, which is something I’ve been looking forward to for months. Of course it was the one day that it rained in California in July, but once the drizzle let up it was a hot but beautiful day in downtown Los Angeles.

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I’m so in love with craft fairs – is that weird of me to say? Everyone is just so nice and down to earth, and it’s so great to see all of the things that people do. Every time I go, I collect a hundred business cards so that I can come back to it all later through Etsy and Instagram because, sadly, I cannot afford everything (I try to though). Nonetheless, I made out with some great finds – a new print for our bedroom, a crazy cat lady mug, extremely awkward herbal tea, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Plus we got to try some amazing food truck grub and specialty popsicles. It made for a wonderful Sunday, and I can’t wait until December when Renegade comes around again!

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Meet Oliver

Everyone, meet Oliver!

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Oliver is the newest member of our little household, and we couldn’t be happier to have this little bundle of purrs. Seriously, he purrs like a motorboat. It’s adorable!

Andrew and his sister are friends with someone who works for a shelter here in LA, and she connected us with this little guy through a friend of hers. Oliver (formerly known as Cheetoh) was found behind a Starbucks dumpster and is only about 3-4 months old. We were fortunate that the shelter paid for all of his expenses – they gave him his shots, neutered him and gave him the medicine he needed for fleas and worms. Now he’s in perfect shape and even knows how to use his littler box! We’re the luckiest adoptive parents ever.

His foster mom, a volunteer for the shelter, brought him to us on Sunday, and needless to say, he has been the center of attention. As you can see, he’s getting pretty comfortable.

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He has the cutest old man face and concerned eyebrows! I’ll never get sick of this little guy. If you follow my Instagram, be prepared to see nothing but kitty photos from now on (sorry not sorry). Stay tuned for updates on Oliver and the many projects I’m sure to make for him!

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