***Update: You can follow me on Bloglovin'

 Hello everyone! After much thinking I have decided to stop blogging here. I just don't feel like this space is something I like anymore. I am in the process of making another blog over here.

It is still under construction so don't judge me too harshly. I have been working on setting up my sewing room in my new apartment so I can have a better space for sewing. I have already made a few things and I will be showing them over on the new blog pretty soon! So go on over and follow me on GFC! I will be making a bloglovin page here soon. Hope to see you over there!



Wedding Video

Guys, check out of wedding video! I love it so much! We had a great videographer that really captured our 7 year long love story. Being married is the best!


How to make the most out of your wedding day and enjoy your honeymoon.

Yesterday my boss took us out to lunch and one of my co workers asked me about my wedding day. The conversation went a little something like this:
Him: "So, did you guys change your Facebook status to married right away?"
Me: *weird look on my face* "No! Why would i do that? haha"
Him: "I just went to a wedding this past weekend and during the day they were updating their Facebook status and updating their relationship status and I just thought that it was weird. Why are people on social media on their wedding day?"

And it really got me thinking...
While Joey and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted to have minimal contact with Facebook the week before our wedding. We wanted to make the most of our wedding day. We wanted to soak the whole thing in and enjoy it...it's one day out of our lives and we really wanted to focus on just that and the covenants we were going to make that day.

SO how can you enjoy your wedding day and honeymoon to the fullest? Turn off your phone. Forget about changing your relationship status. Forget about thanking everyone for coming to your reception. Forget about posting pictures. 

You are about to have one of the greatest days of your life. Focus on your spouse. Talk about your feelings after the temple, spend it together imagining your future together. For goodness sake, stay off of Facebook. I promise, if you stay of off Facebook, Instagram, twitter, whatever, you will enjoy this special time with your loved one even more than you think possible. Leave the picture posting to others, to your photographer. Change your relationship status and thank everyone after you come back from your honeymoon. You won't be a recently marriage couple for long and those feelings you have that day as a newlywed won't last long. Share those feelings with him or her, not with everyone else. 

You can still take pictures of your honeymoon and of every single detail and post it when you get back from your honeymoon. But for goodness sake, I beg you, delete your Facebook and Instagram apps for a day. Enjoy your wedding day and your honeymoon with your eternal partner! 


Do what you want

When I was engaged, I received a ton of unsolicited advice from people who know better because they have been married for a long time or whatever.

Here is a thing you may or may not know about me. I strongly dislike Mormon Culture. Love the church, it's true! But I don't want to be in the culture. I dont want to fit into the mold. So when we got engaged and we got told that we should have a 2 week engagement otherwise we were obviously going to break the law of Chastity, I was really excited to start planning my wedding and have it be nothing like all other Mormon weddings. Nothing wrong with Mormon weddings, I think all weddings are wonderful! I love them! But that wasn't my style and that wasn't Joey's style.

Both Joey and I are converts which means a lot of our family wasn't going to be going in the temple with us so we wanted to make sure we had a nice formal fun reception for them to enjoy. We planned something super simple, but at the same time pretty and enjoyable.

We had a full dinner, and we had dancing that lasted longer then 10 minutes. My reception actually ended at 11:30 PM which was too early in my opinion but probably a Mormon world record.

I was also told that my wedding reception shouldnt be longer than an hour. Okaaaay...I wasnt told, they were giving me more of that unsolicited advice, I am sure they meant well.

All I want to say is, do whatever you want. Plan your wedding to be as big or as small as you want to. Don't listen to people who tell you that you won't remember your reception, that it doesn't matter anyway. I don't really know why Mormons have a vendetta against wedding receptions anyway, why do we hate them so much? Why do we belittle them? I know that what happens in the temple is what is most important, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a huge party afterwards to celebrate the biggest commitment you just made. SRSLY.

I LOVED my reception. I loved that it lasted more than 2 hours. I love that everyone got to eat a whole meal. I love that everyone danced for more than 15 minutes. I love that we celebrated with our families such a joyous occasion. I honestly enjoyed my long reception. I mean, I have been waiting 7 years to marry Joey...what's a few more hours going to do? I wasnt in any type of hurry to leave.

If you are planning a wedding and feel as frustrated as I felt by everyone being annoying about your choices, just ignore them. In the end all that matters is that you married your best friend and that you have an awesome day. Joey and I had an awesome day surrounded by the people we love. We had a blast dancing and we had a great time planning it all. And if you don't care, that's cool too...just make sure to do what makes you happy.


Doggy Tales Special Edition: 3 or 3.5

We celebrated Toby's birthday on May 29th. May 29th is really the day Toby came home with us and since we don't know when he was really born we celebrate his birthday on that day.

When we got Toby at the shelter the doctor told us he was 1 or 1.5 years old so now he is 3 or 3.5 and he has been with us for 2 years!

Raising Toby has been incredibly challenging, he is a reactive dog who does not like children, does not like men, does not like bicycles, does not like runners...he is basically scared of everything and fears that everyone will harm his family so he becomes reactive. He starts barking and would probably jump at people if he wasn't on a leash. We try to walk him when there aren't many people around and it has taken us these two years to learn how to calm him down. And he is doing a lot better. He is best friends with the 14 year old pug that lives across us, he loves older people and he finally doesn't bark at our 2 other neighbors when they walk by our window. But as much training and we give him, and as safe as we try to make him feel he is still reactive and very very scared that someone will harm his family.

Ever since he got sick it really hasn't been so challenging. Ever since he got sick I have done my best to not get mad at him over the little things, like when he goes in the trash and makes a mess or when he accidentally breaks one of the blinds because our upstairs neighbors are immature people who like to tease my dogs from the window. I don't ever want Toby - or Jake for that matter - to feel like they aren't loved for even a minute. Toby's near death encounter made me realize that they have very short lives, I have a very short time with both of them and I don't want them to ever feel like they are not loved...not for a stupid accident or for being dogs. They still get a stern talk if they do something bad but not for the small things that make others mad. It is not worth my time to stay mad at these two little dogs who love me unconditionally and who care about me in a way I can't even understand.

So we celebrated Toby's birthday. He got a bunch of squeaky toys, he got a plain big mac (so did Jake), and he also got to spend the day with me because I was home sick with pneumonia. We made them both feel special, but Toby just a little more, because I honestly did not think back in November that we would get to spend another birthday with him. It was an emotional day for me, but also a happy one because he was there and he was happy and he knew we loved him. I don't think anyone but my family and Joey understand how happy I was that day and I really hope we get to spend more birthdays together.

Jake Approves the following photos of Toby enjoying his bday squeakies.



We took our engagements in Utah during April. It was rainy and cold but our fabulous photographer Kati still got some great shots. Here is a few of our favorites. BTW my mom and I made the pretty dress. I would have made it myself but I was super busy so my mom took care of business. 


Tiffany is Married!

My sweet dear friend Tiffany got married this past weekend. It was the perfect wedding. Seriously. She was the most gorgeous bride ever and I'm so honored I got to be a part of her special day as her bridesmaid. 


We love Utah

 This past weekend Joey and I drove to Utah to take our engagement pictures. I know it seems like a long ways away but it was also a type mini vacation. We both were really in the need for a vacation and I'm glad we got to spend those few days together. 

Puppy barn is the most beautiful place ever. We had a hard time leaving and at one point Joey said "I just got paid. We can get one!" Hahaha

Joey and I had so much fun exploring salt lake. We went to the family history center and walked around temple square! At one point, we saw 4 weddings going on at the same time. Utah doesn't mess around. 

We stayed in lehi with the family of one of joeys mission companions and we had so much fun! We went to breakfast with them and dinner. They were super nice and welcoming. We went to thanksgiving point and did some fun things! 

And then we got a text from our photographer telling us that it was going to rain and that we should hurry and get to north salt lake so we got ready and hurried to get our pics taken and it was so fun! We had the best time! We got rained after but we had gotten some good pics. And then we all went to eat at a Brazilian restaurant and stuffed our faces. 

We will miss you Utah! Until next time. 


A message to everyone who thinks i spent too much money on my dog.

Warning. i'm about to rant.

It has recently come to my attention that people who have nothing to do with me think it's okay to give their opinion on whether I spent too much money on my dog.

To you people who think you have an opinion on the matter, let me tell you something:


How I spend my money is my problem. I chose to save my dogs life and it was ABSOLUTELY worth it. Even if I only get a couple more months with Toby, I will never ever regret the amount of money I spent on him. Because to me, his life is more valuable than all the things I could have bought with that money. Money is just that, money. It's absolutely worth less to me if I didnt do everything in my power to save my dog.

So if you think I spent too much money on my dog you should be happy to know that no one around here cares about your opinion because this is absolutely more important than stupid money.

I'll be cuddling with my dogs while you continue to be frustrated over my bank statement.


Valentine's Day

I've always loved valentines day, even when I didn't get to spend it with Joey. This was actually our first valentines day in 5 years so it was really fun to finally get to spend it together! 

During the morning I made my brothers and Joe a crepe breakfast, which was delicious if I do say so myself. 

Then Joey took me on a car ride. He ended up taking me to the temple where we had a picnic. He made all the food himself and even bought the cool soda glass bottles. It was soooo fun.

Later that day we grabbed Mongolian BBQ and brought it to my house and watched Safe Haven. I fell asleep during the middle of it and apparently when Joey told  me to wake up I told him to "not tell me what to do" hahaha 

Overall we had a great day :) I can't wait for next year. :) 


You'll Just....Know.

I found myself in a conversation with three married women and another single girl about how to know you have found your husband. It ultimately went like this...when you know...you know. 

I thought about that for a while. I have been with Joey since I was 17 and I had fallen in love with him pretty fast and knew since then that I wanted to marry him. But all relationships have their ups and downs and waiting for him while he was on his mission did a real number on my head once in a while. 

I remember that I was feeling particularly insecure that weekend. I can't remember why but I was feeling like that but not seeing your boyfriend for two years, no matter how long you have been together and how determined you are to make things works, is not very reassuring.

I kept thinking about the statement "when you know, you know" and I was so incredibly confused. Do I know? What does that even mean? Will I get some holy confirmation? Will a spotlight shine on Joey and tell me that he is the one? Probably not. 

The thought bothered me for as long as Joey had left on his mission. And then Joey came home, we clicked and just like that....I knew. 

I had always known, silly head.


Why I'm Keeping my Last Name

I've been wanting to write this blog post for a while, but to be honest I was afraid of the criticism. I was battling with myself because keeping my last name is my decision but people tend to criticize decisions like this. But Joey supports me and everyone else's opinion doesn't really matter. So here you go:

For the longest time, I dreamed about being Mrs. Ireland. I would practice my new signature knowing that I still had 5 long years before I could even think about being any type of Mrs. When Joey left on his mission, I changed a lot. I realized a lot of things about myself and the world that I didn't before.

As the thought of marriage getting closer came to my head, I started thinking about changing my name. I realized that every time I thought about being Mrs. Ireland, it just didn't fit. It wasn't me.

Maria Agurto is who I am.

So why am I not taking Joey's last name?

The number one reason I am not taking Joey's last name is because I love my last name. It is who I have been for almost 24 years and marriage does not mean losing my identity. And yes, to me, changing my last name would mean losing my identity. I am Maria Agurto, with all my flaws and imperfections, with my messy dark brown hair and my irrational love for dogs.

I was born in Peru and came to the U.S. when I was 10. I have since been "Americanized," I've lost my Peruvian accent, I've even lost some Spanish (something I am deeply ashamed of). My last name is the last thing I have of my heritage. It is simply who I am, who I have always been and who I will always be.

Keeping my last name does not mean I love Joey any less. It does not mean that I am afraid of divorce, it does not mean that I am trying to go against the Gospel and it does not mean that I don't respect my future husband. Marrying Joey Ireland in the temple has been my dream since I was 17. And come August that dream will come true! And we will be an eternal family regardless of my last name.


ukulele bag

Joey's birthday was on the 27th! Happy Day! I wanted to write about my first ever attempt to make a "case" for anything. I messed up a lot, but overall I think it looks good, it does what it's supposed to do (which is hold an ukulele) and Joey loves it cause I made it with love :) Seriously though, I love handmade presents! 


Full striped skirt. :)

You know when people ask you where you got the skirt that you did a good job at making it.

Also when your fiancĂ© comes to pick you up and greets you with a "woah!" 

I got the idea from this blog. Enjoy.


Adios 2014!

My family, Joey and I agree that 2014 was the worst year ever. The only good things that came out of that horrible horrible year is that Joey came home and proposed. 2 family friend's deaths, thousands of dollars in debt not to mention the emotional roller coaster of Toby almost dying and then Jake getting super sick and the fear having to go through that again...just thinking about my whole year makes me want to cry. It hasn't been the best. 

But I am excited for the new year. I am hopeful because I know the Lord has blessed me a lot during my life and I know that trials are only temporary. All the pain we have felt this year will go away soon and it'll just be an unpleasant memory. 

I'm grateful for a new start. For the new opportunities God has given me.  For my family and my fiance who have been my biggest support this year.

So here's to a better year!


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