Pope: Family of Four

For the past 14 months, Justin, myself and Ollie have been a family of 3. We’ve talked over the past while about possibly getting another dog. Should we get a big dog? Should we get another pug? Should we rescue or adopt a dog? And the search began. We looked online at CraigsList, Facebook and various rescue websites with no such luck.

All that changed one Wednesday night a few weeks ago. As a pug mom, I follow a lot of Instagram and Facebook pug/dog pages. I love reading about what other dog families are up to and seeing what cute outfits they’ve dressed them in. I hadn’t been home from work long and was sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook. I noticed one of the pug pages had posted a picture of one of their pugs who was pregnant. I commented that I was excited for them and couldn’t wait to see pictures of those sweet babies once they were born. 🙂

Side note: I suddenly remember this owner making a comment a while back on one of Ollie’s pictures that they live in North Carolina. So I decided to send her a message.

I introduced myself and asked if they planned on keeping the puppies or would be interested in selling them. She said she was only going to keep one and would sell the rest. I explained that I already had a pug and had been thinking about getting another one to accompany Ollie. I asked that she keep me in mind once the puppies were born. She said she would and wanted to make sure that all the puppies would go to loving homes and not be used for breeding. I told her that Ollie had already been neutered and we have no intention of breeding pugs. We just wanted another dog to spoil and for Ollie to have a brother or sister to play with. She said she would put my name on the list.

The list? Oh no. That list must be a mile long. I tried not to get overly excited even though in the back of my mind I was doing cartwheels. 🙂

Fast forward to the following Wednesday. After work, I again was sitting on the couch scrolling through Facebook. All of a sudden, there they were….pug puppies! The mom had the pugs that day! Before I even knew what happened, I sent the owner another message congratulating her on those 5 sweet babies and to keep me in mind once she was ready to find them homes. A few minutes later I get a message back from her saying she had a boy available. A boy????

Wait. Stop. Regroup.

I had to reread the message a couple times just to make sure I read it correctly. I absolutely had to have him!

Over the next several days, Justin and I searched through hundreds of names. We couldn’t agree on any of them. Finally we decided on Otis. We will pick Otis up sometime in March.

We are so excited on becoming a family of 4 🙂

Ollie would like you to meet his new brother:

Baby brother Otis


On This Day: A Very Special Memory

Today is a very special day for me, Justin and Ollie. It was one year ago today that Justin surprised me with Ollie for my birthday. He had been planning the surprise for months and had me completely oblivious to the entire thing. I wrote a post on how everything happened last year. You can read it here.

My sister, who was also in on the surprise, caught the entire thing on video. I apologize in advance for my ridiculousness, but how are you supposed to act when you’re being surprised? 🙂 Here is the lovely video for your viewing pleasure.

Over the past year, we have come to love this {not so little anymore} guy and have shared more laughs than we could possibly imagine. Ollie lights up our lives each and every day and we can’t imagine what it would be like without him. Ollie loves everything and everybody. He is the best gift I have ever received and I’m so glad Justin did this for me.

It makes me want to get Ollie a puggy brother or sister or both….we’ll see what happens. 🙂

Ollie and DaddyOllie SwimsSleepy OlliePug EngagementPug HalloweenCousin Eddie

A New Week, A New Me

Sunday. The beginning of a new week. I took a much needed day off for some me time. No laundry, no cleaning, no dishes. Just lots of couch time with Justin, Ollie and my iPad. I tend to have ADD when I’m on my iPad. I’m catching up on Facebook, uploading pictures of Ollie to Instagram, checking email, browsing Pinterest, and looking at the upcoming weather forecast – all simultaneously. While on Pinterest, I stopped and looked at some of the boards I’ve created. I don’t know what comes over me, but I am always inspired by the thousands of pins I look through. That’s when I decided that this week I will begin with a new me.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m lazy. When I come home from work, I want to do absolutely nothing. I have zero energy. All I want to do is eat and go to sleep. More often than not, that’s what I do. I just complained to Justin the other night about how unhappy I was with myself and the way I looked and felt.

I glanced at my workout board and decided to find some new workout ideas (I’m really over my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd right now and I haven’t worked out in weeks). In my search I saw some workouts using a stability ball. STABILITY. BALL. I have one upstairs collecting dust! I pinned a couple different workouts to try this week. I also came across some pins about eating healthy which reminded me that I’ve been meaning to look for recipes for fruit infused water. They looked easy enough, so I pinned them, bought an infuser water bottle from Amazon and promptly went to the grocery store and bought the entire fruit section.

So, this week begins a new me. New workouts to try and a new fruit infuser water bottle on the way. I hope this can be something I stick with. I will share my results with you in the coming weeks! Wish me luck 🙂

Have a great week, y’all!

Hi! I’m Ollie.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Return Address.”

Hi! Ollie here. My mom let me take over her blog just this once after much begging and looking at her with my sad face. As you well know, my mom really loves pugs. You could say she’s a little obsessed. Okay, she’s more than obsessed.
Since I’m here, I might as well tell you about myself. I interviewed me just for you!
Name(s): Ollie, Ollie Bug, Bud, Bug
Age: 10 months
Birthday: September 20, 2014
Gotcha Date: November 29, 2014 – Read the story here
Where I live: I live in North Carolina in the United States.
Favorite part of my day: When my mom and dad come home from work! I get so excited that I jump up and down and twirl around in circles and anytime of the day that involves food.
Toys I love most: I love stuffed animals that squeak and rawhides.
Favorite thing to do: I love to eat. I also love to be outside. I enjoy chasing birds, bugs, eating grass, sticks, leaves, and mulch. I’m trying to talk my dad into letting me do all the yardwork (eat the grass) so he won’t have to cut it every week, but he’s not on board with that yet. I’ll keep working on it.
My mom loves it when…I curl up with her in the bed under the covers and give her kisses when she asks me to. She also loves when I help load the dishwasher and fold clothes. If I hear the dryer door open, I’m there in a flash!
My dad loves it when…I take naps with him on the couch and when he’s driving down the road. Oh and when I howl at him and run “hot laps” around the living room. (“hot laps” are when I run really, really fast in circles)
Well, I’ve got to run. I think I just heard my mom open a new bag of treats 🙂 I have enjoyed telling you all a little bit about me. I’m pretty sure my mom will tell you lots more on here. If you want to keep up with my daily pugscapades, you can find me on Facebook as Ollie Bug, the Pug and on Instagram as olliebug_thepug.
See you later!

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Blogging 101: My Audience

Who would I like to read my blog? Everyone, of course! 🙂

Are you an animal lover? Are you obsessed with pugs? Do you like to cook or bake? Do you want to try new recipes? Do you find yourself keeping up with friends and complete strangers day-to-day lives through their blogs? If any of these applies to you, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to be great friends 🙂

I guess I don’t really have a specific audience in mind. I intend to share with whomever wants to read silly stories about my pug Ollie, new recipes I’m trying out or the old faithful ones, my latest cake decorating trials and tribulations, my journey through planning a wedding, and everything else in between. I want to you to see that there are positive things in every day life that can make you happy and make your life happy.

Those are just a few of my happy places in life. I look forward to telling you all about them and lots more!

yoda ollie

My Ollie Bug

The Who & The Why

Welcome to the Finding Happy Places blog! My name is Jessica and I’m from North Carolina. I am a small town girl who loves pugs, collecting cookbooks, and chocolate. I am also still relatively new to blogging even though I started my blog in 2014 and I hope to learn a lot with Blogging 101 🙂

Why am I here? Good question. I became interested in blogging after seeing a few friends share their personal blogs on Facebook and I enjoyed reading about their families and daily lives. I added blogging to my New Year’s Resolution list and set out to start my own. I started writing a few posts here and there over the course of 2014 and into 2015 and would also go through lazy spells for months at a time but still found myself reading other blogs that I follow.

I have decided to stop being lazy, sign up for this course and continue learning about blogging. I want to blog about every day life (i.e. family, friends, my pug – Ollie, my wedding planning journey, cooking, etc.), finding something positive about each day (I call them ‘happy places’). When I first began blogging, I started a Marvelous Monday series each week to recap on things that made me happy over the previous week. I wanted to bring a little sunshine to Mondays since they’re often the least favorite day of the week and because a lot of people always focus on Fridays on their blogs. I wouldn’t mind continuing to do something like that.

I look forward to sharing my happy places in life with you and I hope you’ll share yours with me!


Baked Spaghetti, a Pug and a Proposal

Just three short weeks ago, what was supposed to be a family dinner turned into a night I’ll never forget. I rushed home from work to prepare two pans of baked spaghetti because my parents, godparents and Justin’s parents were coming over for dinner. Once our families arrived, they talked over appetizers while I put the finishing touches on dinner. Just before everything was ready, Justin talked with the dads the living room and I talked with the moms in the kitchen. Justin strikes up a conversation with my dad about two drawers in our bathroom that never stay shut. My dad explained it had something to do with the angle of the tracks of the drawers. So, he and Justin were off to the bathroom to check out the drawers. Or so I thought.

Little did I know, or my dad for that matter, that Justin had no intention of pulling out drawers and looking at the tracks. He was asking my dad for permission to marry me. A few minutes later, my dad walks out of the bedroom and Justin asks me to come see Ollie. My first thought was that Ollie had found his way to the bathroom and unrolled the brand new roll of toilet paper that I just put on the holder. {side note: Ollie had discovered toiled paper and unrolled quite a bit of it earlier in the week} As I walk across the living room, I hear my dad tell my mom to get her camera out. She questioned him on why she needed her camera and he again told her to go get her camera. As I’m hearing this, I’m picturing a huge mound of toilet paper and Ollie with his mouth full. I thought my dad was wanting my mom to come take a picture of it. I had no idea what was coming.

I walk into the bedroom and I didn’t see a huge pile of toilet paper or Ollie with his mouth full….thank goodness. Instead, Justin tells me that Ollie put himself up in his crate. As I walk to the crate, I notice that Ollie has his red vest on. So I let him out and see a note on Ollie’s back. The note read:


Will you marry my dad?


After reading the note, I turn around and Justin is down on one knee, his hands shaking and a huge smile across his face. He very quickly says, “Will you marry me?”. I’m pretty sure my mouth hit the floor. He stands up and the first words out of my mouth are, “Are you serious?! Are you for real?!” Then he asks if I’m gonna answer him. And of course I said yes 🙂 As I’m looking at the ring, I drop it on the floor. We had to quickly move Ollie back so he wouldn’t eat it. Justin puts the ring on my finger and we stood there hugging for a long time.

Holy crap. We’re engaged!

We walk out into the living room and our families all have their phones out snapping pictures right and left. For a minute, we knew what it felt like to be famous 🙂 It finally made sense why my dad told my mom to get the camera out.

Needless to say, our families are very excited for us as are we. I think the shock has finally worn off and reality is setting in.

Let the planning begin!