FAQ for a Bunny Mom

Owning a Bunny - Everything I’ve learned through the past 4 years of “Winging It”

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Since getting my Miniature Lop named Riley, I have had tons of questions about what she is like and what it is like to be a bunny mom. Without a doubt, owning a rabbit is way less common than owning a cat or dog! Strangely enough, in the past few years it seems like owning bunnies have become more popular. This could be due to more people realizing what awesome pets they make or it could be the fact that I am more aware of fellow bunny owners. Who knows!

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When I bought my rabbit, I was 20 years old and had just started my Junior year of College. For some reason, I had spent the summer wanting a bunny despite the fact that I thought they seemed kind of mean! During the fall of 2014, I spent many hours hunched over my laptop scanning my College’s Free & For Sale page looking at cute bunnies for sale. I even got as far as dragging my roommates to a random apartment to look at a bunny that I was contemplating getting. I ended up finding a pet store in my local College town that had a pen full of baby rabbits. I found a cute, grey one that I liked and drove various friends over to the pet store to tell me what they thought. After my third visit, I skipped my lecture class and drove over to pick up my bunny! Looking back, I should have purchased a bunny from a Humane Society but as awful as it sounds (especially because I've been volunteering at Humane Societies for a few years now), I have never adopted a pet in that way before.

The responsible, adult thing to do would have been to discuss this situation with my parents and do a lot of research beforehand. I am a somewhat impulsive person so instead, I spontaneously bought a bunny and literally bought all of the supplies the day before. Also, I don’t remember doing any research ahead of time and didn’t even start out with a bunny cage (it was some used dog crate/cage I found for free online). Since getting Riley, I have a learned a LOT through trial and error and a lot of online research. For those of you who have asked or are curious, here are a lot of the things I learned about having a bunny that would have been helpful to know beforehand! I’ve also included some frequently asked questions further down in this post. Thank you again to everyone who responded to my Instagram Story with all of their bunny questions!

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  1. Getting them spayed or neutered is EXPENSIVE! It cost me $495 to get Riley fixed and at the time, I had to borrow the money from my mom (I was a broke College student at the time but don’t worry, I paid her back with my first tax return!). Although pricey, getting your rabbit fixed is important so they can live a long and healthy life.

  2. They are the sweetest creatures! There is something very calming and wise about rabbits that is unlike any other animal I have owned

  3. Bunnies can be very affectionate and they are social animals! Although they do not always want to be cuddled and touched (like humans?), Riley has times where she wants to cuddle and receive nose pets. She also loves giving bunny kisses to the extent where I have to lock her up in her cage sometimes because the licking gets soooo annoying!

  4. Bunny-proof everything! I have never had a baby but I would assume it is pretty similar. Objects that Riley has destroyed include: multiple computer and phone charges, shoes, handbags, books, carpet and even my box spring for my bed etc.

  5. Carrots are actually not that great for bunnies. Similar to the belief that milk is good for cats, carrots are not that great for rabbits. Although they LOVE them and will love you for giving them a carrot, carrots are very sweet and should only be given in small pieces as an occasional treat

  6. Bunnies are very active in the evenings and mornings. There was a 2 week period over this past summer where Riley woke me up every morning at 4:30am much to my dismay though just in time to watch the sun rise

  7. They are hella smart! Not only is Riley litter box trained, I also bought her a logic game meant for dogs and she totally mastered it. She has also learned her name though, unlike a cat or dog, she does not come with called but instead will perk up an ear.

  8. Cage necessities should include a water bottle, a litter box with a metal cover, some toys, timothy hay, dry food and a bed/mat so they can give their feet a break from the harsh metal wiring. Some owners don’t do a litter box with a cover but I had to because otherwise Riley likes to dig and kick all of her litter EVERYWHERE

  9. They are not a good pet for children! For some reason many parents think it is a great idea to buy a cute bunny rabbit for their child as a present. Honestly having a bunny is way more work than owning a cat and in some ways, owning a dog. You constantly need to clean their litter box and cage and let them out to run around and play. Bunnies also will bite and nip which could be a traumatic experience for a child.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How much do they cost? In general they are pretty affordable! Every 8 weeks I order Riley’s food, litter and treats from Chewy for under $50. Once a year I also take her to the vet which is about $57. Starting next year I will be taking her to the vet twice a year as advised for rabbits over 5 years of age. The most expensive thing was getting her fixed but if you buy them from a Humane Society, they should already have been neutered or spayed

Where does Riley live/sleep? Riley has always lived in my room! She recently got an upgrade and now lives in a two bedroom outdoor hutch that I keep inside. Often I will leave her door and her ramp open so she can come and go as she pleases! In one of the rooms in the hutch, I bought her a sherpa dog bed which is where she will usually sleep

Both Riley and I love this hutch because it gives her a lot of room and it matches my bedroom furniture. It also gives her more privacy depending on if she wants to be in her bedroom or out in the main space. For reference, I got the largest size but it comes smaller as well! You can shop it below!

How often do you feed her? I feed her dry food every morning and evening and then make sure she has hay all the time. As a treat I will give her some fresh lettuce and occasionally a few bites of banana which is her favorite

Do they get sick easily? So far Riley has never been sick! It did take her a few days to recover from her surgery when she got spayed but after a few days she was back to normal. Keeping her inside definitely helps but unlike cats and dogs, they do not need regular flea medicine or anything like that.

Is it possible to own a bunny and still work full time? Yes! I work full time and also am busy with blog stuff but still have time for Riley. The great thing about bunnies is they are pretty good at taking care of themselves. Whenever possible, I will leave her cage open so she can get exercise and I play with her every evening. I do think she gets bored sometimes without another bunny to talk and play with

How do you know what she is saying? The super weird thing for me is that they do not talk! If you hear a bunny make a vocal noise, it is probably because it is dying or terrified. Bunny body language is also very different from other animals so it took me a lot of research to understand what Riley was doing and how to try to communicate with her.

Where do I get one? Like any type of pet there is always the option to go to a breeder. If you are just looking for a fYou can also often find bunnies at pet stores which is how I got Riley. My biggest recommendation would be to go to a Humane Society though! I paid about $25 for Riley but at the local Humane Society in Oregon, you can get a bunny for $15 and they come fixed and usually trained. This way you give a bunny a home and save about $500!

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What kind of bunny do you have and how old is she? Her birthday is in August so she is almost 5 years old this summer. At first we did not know if she was a holland lop or miniature lop (holland lops are smaller) but based on her recent vet visit, we are now pretty sure she is a miniature lop. If they are a lop, they will have the cute, floppy ears!

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I would love to hear what you all thought of this blog post especially since it is a bit different from my usual posts! If there are any other bunny mom’s out there, give me a shoutout! I always love exchanging bunny stories! Also, if you thinking about getting a bunny or just have more questions about my experience with Riley, please let me know!

If you think Riley is the cutest and want to follow her on Instagram, you can do so here

One Set, Three Outfits

For the longest time I have been trying to find the perfect set! The struggle I always came across was that either the top was too cropped, something was see through or the set was really fun but not something I would actually wear out in public. Luckily this cute set from Forever21 ended up coming back in stock and I bought it right away! The key with sets is to find the option where you can buy the top and the bottom separately. I wasn’t sure about my size so I ended up buying the top in two sizes. I’m honestly super happy I did because I ended up picking the larger of the two. The great part about sets is that you can style them so many different ways which I wanted to share with you all below!

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Look One

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The first and simplest way to wear the two pieces is together. They were literally made for each other and so it is pretty much guaranteed that they will look cute together. Kind of like a romper or a dress except that it is cute in half so you don’t always have to wear it as your whole outfit.

Look Two

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Another way I styled this set was by pairing the top with jeans and a hat. It is a great way to transform the outfit for fall and you can easily add a sweater or jacket if it is cold that day. The funny thing is that seeing this outfit alone, you would have no idea that the top is part of a matching set. It really just looks like a cute top that you paired jeans with. When picking out bottoms, I made sure to choose ones with a similar rise. The shorts are high waisted so I paired the top with my high waisted jeans so the hem would hit at a similar spot.

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Look Three

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The third outfit I created was using just the shorts. i paired them with a neutral colored top since there is already a pattern on the shorts. Although I could have added a different crop top, it can be hard to find one where the hem hits in the same spot with the high waisted shorts. I love crop tops but I like when the do not actually end up showing my stomach. To avoid this problem, I picked a longer tank top and just tucked it into the shorts.

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SHOP THE POST

PNW Flowers and Festivals

 
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If you have ever been to Portland Oregon you probably know that it rains A LOT. One benefit of all this rain though is the beautiful flowers that we get! I am honestly the happiest and most inspired when visiting a gorgeous field of flowers! Sunshine, flower fields and a sun dress are my go-to during the warmer months here! The past few years since I moved back to Portland, I have constantly been discovering new flower spots and flower festivals. I don’t know if it is because of Instagram, but I feel like flower festivals have blown up in the past few years and it can be hard to keep track of them all! I always get so many messages when I visit a gorgeous field of flowers and for you Portland locals, I wanted to share the best flower spots and festivals that happen each spring and summer.

(Please note that the weather each year does affect when each type of flower is in full bloom. While I’ve done my best to estimate the best time to view each flower, I do recommend double checking each year for the best results)


CHERRY BLOSSOMS

(End of March - Beginning of April)

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The Cherry Blossoms always have signified the end of Winter for me. If you live in the Portland area, you are probably very familiar with the breathtaking rows of cherry blossoms that line the river during this time of year. The waterfront is pretty long so if you are trying to Google maps your way to the cherry blossoms, you will want to type in “Japanese American Historical Plaza” to be taken to the correct spot along the water. The Cherry Blossoms trees create a beautiful arch and walkway which is great for taking photos. They are very popular though so it is always a struggle to get photos without other people in them.

The second place to view some gorgeous cherry blossom trees is a bit of a drive from Portland but totally worth visiting if you can! I went for the first time this year (2019) and it was absolutely beautiful. This location is the state capitol building in Salem, Oregon. There are cherry blossoms on both sides of the large courtyard leading up to the grand building and it is so big, that you can usually find a spot that is not too full of people. The cherry blossoms are usually in full bloom for only about 1-2 weeks so you have to make sure to sneak in a visit before they start to fall!

TULIPS

(First two weeks of April)

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The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival has become an annual favorite of mine! This festival has been going on for years but somehow I had never heard of it until my later years in College. Since then though, I have gone every year with friends (check out the gallery for some throwback photos). Located only about 45 minutes south of Portland (kind of near the Woodburn outlet), the tulips fields are perfect for the whole family as well as canine friends. Since this festival takes place during the beginning of spring, it can often be pretty muddy! I’ve done my best to plan out my visits during drier weekends but make sure to bring some backup rain boots just in case! The festival costs $20 per car or you can buy a season pass. They also have the option to visit the fields for sunrise and sunset where you can come and stay an hour early. I did that this year (2019) which was a cool experience although the weather did not cooperate so unfortunately they did not release the hot air balloons during sunrise as they some times do. The festival is always so packed so I recommend trying to get there early. Luckily there are around 40 acres of tulips so although it might be packed, it is still possible to get some pictures without people in the background if you walk to the further ends of the field. In addition to taking photos and enjoying the colorful flowers, they also have many entertainment options for children as well as food, wine and artisan booths. This festival goes on for several weeks with a wide range of events that take place on different days.

Learn more about the festival here

PEONIES

(Last week of May - first two weeks of June)

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Peonies and peony fields definitely seem to be more rare! I first heard about the Adelman Peony Gardens two years ago and it has been a fun tradition to add. These fields are on private property so while they do open them up for guests, there is way less parking and there are no activities, food or bathrooms available. They are located about 20 minutes away from Salem so it is a bit of a drive if you are coming from Portland. I would say the fields are a lot less crowded since it is not a festival so it is really easy to get photos without other people in the background. In the parking area there is a small garden that has peonies planted if you want to walk around and view the names. Across from there is a place where you can buy peonies although I’ve never seen any that look very full or beautiful for sale there. A decent walk away is where the actual peonies are planted which is the best spot to get photos. Although visiting the fields does not cost any money, they do have the option to pay in order to visit the fields for sunset which looks amazing although is kind of pricey. Sadly I have had bad experience with the customer service there so while it is absolutely gorgeous there, that has negatively tainted my experience.

Learn more about the garden here

ROSES

(June)

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My top places to view roses in the city are the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park and Peninsula Park. Unfortunately I do not have any recent photos from the rose garden (though I did get my high school senior photos taken there) but it is an absolutely beautiful place to walk around!

Peninsula Park was one of those hidden gems that I had never heard of until last year! Every time I go, I feel like I have been transported into a fairytale or am in some secret garden in France. There is a fountain in the center and then different pathways through the roses. Both places are completely free to enjoy with street parking nearby.

LAVENDER

(End of June - first two weeks of July)

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I have always loved lavender as a scent and a flower so I was really excited when I went to my first lavender festival in 2018. If you are a huge lavender fan as well, you are in luck because there are so many fields and festivals within about an hours drive from Portland. The only festival I have had a chance to visit so far is the Clackamas County Lavender Festival in Oregon City. This festival is great for the whole family and has food, artisan booths, live music and the option to cut your own lavender to take home! It costs $5 per vehicle to get in which is pretty cheap as far as some festivals go. If you do not like bees, definitely beware since the rows of lavender are always humming with the sound of thousands of bees hard at work! The lavender lemonade here is also amazing and the best I have ever had. This festival only happens one weekend a year but as I mentioned, there are so many festivals that usually land on different weekends so there are a ton of chance to enjoy lavender season.

Learn about the Clackamas County Lavender Festival here

Here are some links to upcoming lavender festivals in the area for 2019:

  • Lavender DAZE in Hood River - July 6 to July 7th. Learn more here

  • Helvetia Lavender Festival - July 12th to July 14th. Learn more here

  • Willamette Valley Lavender Festival - July 13th to July 14th. Learn more here

SUNFLOWERS

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Sunflowers are one of my favorite flower and I love that they are in full bloom during my birthday month of August! I’ve been lucky to find a few great places to enjoy them over the years. If you are looking for flower festival vibes, there is Sunflower Saturday at the Packer Orchards in Hood River which is about 1.5 hours east from Portland. I went a few years ago and it was a fun, small event that had food to try and buy, the option to cut your own sunflowers and some games for kids. Tickets are $5 per person and it is a great excuse to explore Hood River.

Some other great places I have found to view sunflowers are on Sauvie Island at the Sauvie Island Farms where you can also pick berries and purchase other flowers. Their sunflower patch is not very big but if you are just looking for some photos, then it works well and is not as far! Same with the West Union Gardens out in Hillsboro, there is the option to pick berries while you are out there. The sunflower field is actually outside of the entrance and is HUGE. There is a suggested donate box for the upkeep of the field. I actually discovered this field when I collaborated with Klaxon Productions to film this video.

Learn more about the Sunflower Saturday here

Learn more about Sauvies Island Farms here

Learn more about the West Union Gardens here

DAHLIAS

(End of August - Beginning of September)

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The last festival of the summer is the Swan Island Dahlia Festival. This is one of the newer festivals I have heard of and sadly I have only been able to make it one year in 2017 though I am hoping to go again this year! This festival is located in Canby, Oregon about 30 minutes South of Portland and is the largest festival I would say. There are a ton of tents selling food and drinks, the option to buy Dahlias to take home and during the day, there is live music to listen to. Although there are less carnival styled games compared to the tulip festival, this is still a family friendly event. One thing I really appreciated about the set up was that each row of dahlia's had a sign with the name of that flower. Reading all of the names was honestly one of the best parts of this festival. There is also a room set up inside where you can view all of the dahlias as well if you aren't one to want to walk around in the hot sun. Little did I know, dahlias come in so many shapes and colors and sizes! This festival is completely free but is only open two weekends of the year during the end of August and the beginning of September.

Learn more about the festival here

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Thank you so much for reading! I hope you love visiting all of these places as much as I do! I am constantly looking for new flower fields so if I missed anything, please send me a message and let me know! I update this post each year so make sure to check back for any updates to these festivals or to learn about new places I found!

Make sure to also check out my friend Chelsee's post on flower spots in the area here

The Most Versatile Pant

The best items to have in your closet are statement pieces and then closet staples that you can build upon. For awhile now I have been looking for black cropped pants/culottes. I finally found this pair on Forever21's website and the amazing thing is that they are only $10! What a deal! This past weekend I had fun styling them with other items in my closet to create three easy but different looks which I have shared below!

 

1. Business Casual

For this look I paired a cropped white button down with the pants to help dress them up. I also added slip on mules which are not only comfortable but also look fancier than some of my other types of shoes. I picture this look being suitable for a work day or when you have a meeting since it is formal enough while also staying on trend.

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2. Athleisure

I've recently been trying to get more into the athleisure trend and had a fun time building an outfit with these pants that looked sporty but casual. I added a black sweater with varsity stripes on the sleeves and paired it with a nicer baseball cap. It's hard to tell but my hat is a light blue suede. For shoes, I matched my sweater with my classic Adidas sneakers to stick with the black and white stripe theme. This outfit would be perfect for a day of errands where you are on the move and want to be comfy but still stylish.

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3. Dressed up casual

When I picture dressed up casual, I picture the type of outfit I might wear when going to brunch with friends or maybe doing some shopping. To add some color to these pants I paired them with a floral blouse and some heeled sandals.

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SHOP MY OUTFITS

THE PANTS

The exact pair I am wearing is the first link but I have also linked some other options as well! Technically these culottes are called "shorts" on the Forever21 website but fit me perfectly because I am so short. Therefore if you are taller than 5'3" you might want to check out some of the other options

WHITE BUTTON UP

VARSITY SWEATER

FLORAL BLOUSE