Happy Gotcha Day, Millie!

Four years ago today, we picked up a sweet Border Collie mix named Amelia from a local organization that helps the parish shelter. :-) She got the name from her foster family, because she was the explorer of the litter. We just call her Millie, for short. It rolls off the tongue easier when she’s chewing on a sock or something…

IMG_0810

::cue the awws::

I’m sorry, but she was an adorable little pup.

It’s so crazy to think she’s our age in dog years. She has calmed down quite a bit since her puppy days of ripping pants, socks and shirts to herd me around the house, but there are some nights where she’ll randomly start nudging my calves if she wants me to sit down. Her herding instincts will never go away, I guess. I’m halfway tempted to let her go in a field of random farm animals and see her herding instincts go wild.

Millie 5/12/2010

Since we’ve moved to the new neighborhood, I’ve discovered that Millie loves kids. She’s so good with them, even if they’re petting her a little roughly or pulling her ears or tail. The kids are toddlers, so they don’t mean it…to them, those rough pets and ear pulls are affectionate, and she gets SO excited over it. I’m pretty confident that if we have kids, she’s going to be wonderful around them. :-)

Happy Halloween!

I mean, how can you not walk up to her and want to pet her like crazy when she’s wearing a pumpkin stem hat? Poor thing…I’m a terrible puppy mom lol!

She’s also awesome around other dogs. This is my family’s dog, Dixie, and she’s gonna be 14 this year. They’ve had a couple of fun play sessions in the past, but I’m not sure if Dixie can take Millie’s energy anymore. :( However, every time Millie sees a yellow lab somewhere or hears “Dixie”, she goes crazy! I love how great her memory is…such a smart dog. :-)

I look up to my elders. Literally.

Happy Gotcha Day, Millie! Here’s to many more Gotcha Days together. :-)

Holiday Cards from Minted & A Giveaway!

As much as I love Christmas, one thing I’ve always gone back and forth on was our Christmas card. Since it’s just me and my husband, nothing really changes in the pictures from year to year, and we don’t really take many posed photos together. Since we never have a picture of us for a Christmas card, who were we going to feature?

Well, one year I decided to take pictures of our dog, Millie. I wasn’t sure if it would be well-received or not, but people loved them! It became our little tradition. Every year, I found it so fun to put Christmas decorations around her (closely watching her, of course), and take probably 100 pictures, praying that she didn’t move since there was a large treat above the camera lens for her to stare at and drool over (which usually resulted in the perfect puppy smile).

Time to fill my stocking, Momma!

This was last year’s picture. I mean seriously…how adorable is that?

So, this year, when I was looking for Christmas cards, I was hoping to find a card with a more pet-centric message. Usually I’d buy something that said “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” from (our last name) and leave it at that. However, this year, I discovered these holiday cards from Minted.com, and included in that are some cards that are specifically meant for pet photos!

[Read more...]

The Move

It’s crazy how quickly the past few weeks have flown for us. We’ve moved almost everything from our fairly cramped 1300 square foot home to our new house with a lot more wiggle room. :-)

After the closing date was set, I remember telling myself to do 2 boxes a day. Totally feasible, right? Well, the procrastinator in me didn’t really get into packing boxes until a couple of weeks prior to closing. Last minute, much?

It was so weird sorting through everything, filling up boxes for moving and boxes for the garage sale. There were so many things that I forgot I owned, so the garage sale stack is a pretty good size. Note to self…don’t buy crap. Seriously, stop buying crap.

I also found a few things that brought back memories.

Were any of y’all a girl scout back in the day?

Before we knew it, we closed on the house. The keys were in our hands and our cars were filled to the brim with boxes and cleaning items. It was time to make this house feel like a home.

We took a good week to clean, bring some of the packed items to the house, and paint the master bedroom. The next weekend, we hired movers to bring the bulk of our belongings to the new house.

I HIGHLY recommend hiring  movers. For the Baton Rouge people who read my blog, we used Two Men and a Truck. Again, HIGHLY recommend them.

Why did we hire movers? Well, the furniture we would have had to move on our own was just insane, not to mention padding it all, and making sure it stays in place on a truck. The peace of mind was well worth the $600 we spent. It made moving day much less stressful for us, and not to mention, much more efficient. Nothing got scratched or broken during the move and everything was unloaded in the new house in less than 5 hours! :-)

Lately, we’re still unpacking our house a little at a time, because as crazy as it was to pack, unpacking is a different animal. Unpacking means finding a whole new place for everything. While we have much more space in the new house, it’s taking us a while to find just the right place for everything. :-) Thankfully, we’re almost done with the house..just a few more boxes and bags to unpack!

I’m sure you’re wondering how Millie is doing with all of this. As you might know, our dog is pretty easy to scare or make nervous, sadly. Since we adopted her, we really don’t know what caused her to be so scared and nervous, but I will say that this was hard on her.

When I let her walk around the old, empty house, you could just see that she was very nervous and scared. She basically walked around the room, would sniff and softly whine. It was really sad to watch her act unfamiliar with the place that was once our home.

When I brought her to the new house, she whined anytime we put her in her crate. (We had to crate her at some points, because she will put everything in her mouth, and well, with tools and tiny screws all over the floor, it just wasn’t worth taking a chance.)

After about a week, though, she relaxed a good bit and got back to her favorite spot: lying on the floor next to the sofa. :-)

 

 It has been quite an adjustment for us, but I love our new neighborhood. We’ve already met quite a few of our neighbors and Millie is already making new puppy friends. :-) Stay tuned…I promise I will be posting more house pictures very soon!

Our Millie

I was checking my Google Reader today, trying to catch up after the holiday season, and saw that Jenny of Geek in Heels wrote a post about her dog, Comang, for a contest sponsored by Trupanion Pet Insurance called “Pawliday Blog Contest“. Y’all know I love writing about Millie, so I thought it would be fun to enter! The topic is “How My Pet’s Love is My Holiday Gift”, which is a wonderful subject since this was our first holiday season with Millie.

Millie actually was a holiday gift. My grandmother gifted the hubs and I with a check last Christmas,  and that check went towards Millie’s adoption costs, as well as a donation to help our local shelter. :-)

I remember when we saw Millie’s picture on Facebook. The shelter has a non-profit to help adopt out the dogs (called Yelp! Baton Rouge) and that’s where all of the adoptable pets’ pictures were posted. The hubs and I instantly fell in love with Millie’s cute playful picture, so we inquired about her before the adoption day.

I remember rushing to put away the Christmas decorations one afternoon before we brought her home, because we wanted the house as puppy proof as possible. Little did we know what we were in for.

That very first night, she woke us up every hour. She seemed so sad and scared of her life without her siblings. After cleaning up multiple accidents in our house and dealing with puppy pads for the first week, the hubs and I were exhausted. It was very trying for us, because it was just the hubs and I before this. We weren’t sure how we were going to do this at all! However, we were definitely falling head over heels in love with this little fur ball.

Slowly, but surely, things started to get better for us. I remember thinking the first month with Millie was the longest month ever, because our lives were so different with this new puppy in our lives. After that first month, though, Millie’s care became much less daunting (no more accidents!) and this new little puppy in our lives was easily a part of our daily routine now!

IMG_0810

Now that we’ve almost had her in our lives for a year now, it’s wonderful to look back on how positively our lives have changed because of her. :)

Millie is very sweet. Whenever we get home, she’s so SO happy to see us….EVERYTIME! Sometimes I wonder how that little tail of hers stays attached! It’s so wonderful to see how much she loves us. She always has to be around one of us, too. Whether it’s jumping on our bed to cuddle with the hubs or snuggling under my legs begging me to pet her, we just know that she loves us. Whenever one of us has a bad day, she just seems to know. Her cute little face will just make us forget the day we’ve had, even if only for a minute. :)

While the holiday season surely is a hectic one, it was so great to see that she was pretty much the same ol’ loving dog. During the panic of last minute baking and gifting, she still would snuggle with my feet and lick my ankles. The holidays never affected her, and I loved it, because it made me realize that the holiday season should truly be happier than I was making it out to be!

Christmas Smiles

Two days ago, when Christmas Day came, I dumped out her stocking. Her reaction to $15 worth of chew toys and treats was just so awesomely cute. It’s still like Christmas Day when I give her a surprise from her stocking! Even right now, she is laying against my feet, as usual, chewing on a rope toy and every few minutes, she looks up and licks me (a little loving reminder, no?).

I can’t help but think of Millie’s love as the ultimate gift to us. She’s has such a simple, beautiful little soul and reminds me everyday that there is more to life than the stresses of the everyday. :)

A doggy dilemma….

Millie (1)

As much as I rave about our cute dog, Millie, there has always been a bit of a problem with her when it comes to me/her. She likes to nip/bite me…a lot.

For example, she nips my leg if she wants me to get up or bites my hand if she wants to play. It used to be no big deal as a puppy, and I thought she’d outgrow it, but now, its starting to actually hurt!

She really doesn’t do this to the hubs either.

Has anyone ever dealt with this? I love her to pieces, but the biting needs to stop. :-(

Back in New Orleans-ish

I decided to spend the majority of this weekend at my family’s house. My sister is performing in Urinetown (weird musical name, eh?), and I try not to miss her performances when she has a key role. :)

Also, I brought Millie with me to see her bestie, Dixie. I took the opportunity the try a large Nifty Woof on her (made her a duplicate of this one), for sizing. She’s 85 lbs. and I think the large looks nice on her. :)

Dixie in Nifty Woof

Dixie is such a good sport, haha! I had to take it off of her immediately after because her and Millie were playing, and I didn’t want Millie to rip it to shreds. :)

What are you up to this weekend?

Warms my Heart

Eeeep!

This little girl warms my heart. She does the cutest things, especially when she’s around the hubs. :-) Just wanted to share!

GIVEAWAY: Pet Photography Session

A while back, I entered Millie for a pet photography contest sponsored by local photographer, Lacey Rabalais. As you may already know (especially if you follow me on Twitter), I take TONS of pictures of Millie, mostly on my iPhone, but none of them are anywhere close to looking frame-worthy.

I thought winning this mini session would be a great opportunity for Millie to run around, let loose and get photos of her in her prime hyper, happy element. :) Luckily, because of friends (and some readers), Millie won the free session!!

When Millie saw Lacey with that camera, it became a fun game of **catch me if you can** for her. She was running in circles, and whenever she finally calmed down for a picture, she started running again. Eventually, her little puppy-ness caught up to her and she calmed down for some tremendously adorable photos!

Check them out here!

I have to say, Lacey really did an awesome job with Millie. She played right along with her and was very patient with our excited puppy. :-) Her photographs perfectly captured Millie’s personality too. I look at every single photo, and tell myself that’s SO her ::insert emotion here:: face. It’s so wonderful to have these captured in photos. Thank you, Lacey!

After Millie’s session, Lacey graciously offered to host a pet photography session GIVEAWAY on my blog!! Wahoo!!

Session GiveawayCredit: Lacey Rabalais Photography

This is only for my local Baton Rouge area readers, though, since Lacey can’t exactly drive to Vermont or say, Paris in 10 minutes. :-)

Also, check out Lacey’s specials this month for Military Families, Families with adopted children, and of course, for your PETS!

Giveaway Details:

  • One person will be randomly chosen to win a free 30 minute session, which includes an online gallery to view your pictures and also, receive a disc of 10 images from the shoot.
  • TO ENTER: Just leave a comment here or on Lacey’s blog about your lovely pet or pets by Sunday, November 7th at 11:59pm.
  • You must live in the Baton Rouge area to be eligible to win. :-)

Best of luck!

Happy Howl-O-Ween

I’m starting a new little series on the blog about sewing patterns with my reviews on them. I’ve been learning new techniques with these patterns, and I thought it’d be fun to blog about these!

Earlier this month, I visited family while the hubs was away on a business trip. I knew there were going to be major Columbus Day sales at the local JoAnn’s, so my Mom and I went there for the sole purpose of making Millie into a sea monster. The reason? Well, PetSmart was having a costume contest and I thought she’d have a great time with the other dogs. :)

To note: Millie is about 40 lbs. now. Not a super large dog, but to Simplicity patterns, she was too big to get a costume pattern for. So, I had to get creative and base it off of a dog coat pattern (Simplicity 9520).

After that, I started looking in the cottons for something green that screamed “sea monster”. I couldn’t find a thing. However, in the specialty Halloween fabrics, I came across a polyester mermaid print. It was perfect, but I was intimidated, because this was a very shiny, slippery fabric that I’m not familiar with sewing.

I also bought blue felt with plans to add some spikes…it ended up being a really cute touch! I also originally wanted to add wings, but I was promptly reminded that sea monsters swim. She would need fins instead. :P Thank goodness for leftover quilt batting!

There was a HUGE pitfall to this pattern. When I originally started cutting and piecing this together, I realized that this pattern was way too large for my dog. It was a one size fits all thing…sort of lame, no? So, I ended up tailoring it to size, using lots of Beggin Strips and saying ”don’t eat that” repeatedly. Apparently, polyester looks appetizing to my dog..sheesh!

Also, when I started sewing the polyester, it started to fray…a lot. So, for the polyester, I ended up lining it with some muslin. It helped a lot with the sewing, and also probably felt better on the dog.

After a good bit of thought, I ended up nixing the hood, as well as the sleeves. I know Millie, and she isn’t a fan of being clothed. She’d try to rip those off for sure!

When I finally tried the finished product on her, it was a pretty good fit!  Thank goodness.

Happy Howl-o-ween!

However, there was another pitfall. Those fins were her newest toy. She was literally trying to rip them off, unless I held up a treat (as I did to snap this picture. In the end, I pinned them back a bit, and it ended up being OK. After 5 minutes, she barely noticed her costume!!

Unfortunately, she didn’t win the contest at PetSmart. Dracula, a wagon full of yorkies dressed as Playgirls and Hannah Montana beat her out. I guess next year, I’ll try to go more trendy. :)

By the way, if you can take a second to vote for Millie in Blue Buffalo’s Halloween Costume Contest, I’d totally appreciate it. Just go to this site, search for “Millie”, click her picture and vote! No log-in needed!

Rating out of 10: 4. Dear Simplicity, dogs are NOT one size fits all, and the pattern writing/diagrams left me fairly confused. :

A bunch of randoms (4)

Whoa! I haven’t posted one of these in a while. Oops! I decided to add some cute doggie pictures in here, just for kicks. 

Dogs 3

  • I’m in week 2 of the 10 week weight loss challenge. I started up kickboxing again on Monday, and talk about a kick booty class! Whoa…my legs are still sore from the class! I have class again today too. The teacher warned us to get our abs ready. Ruh roh!

 

  • I’m already working on another group of items to bring into the Etsy shop. :) I’m having so much fun working on this shop, and so far, I’m super excited to say that I have sold 1 bandanna and have 6 people who “heart” my shop! Thanks for the support y’all!

 

  • I won a Road ID bracelet on Krista’s blog: Commitment is Liberating. I’m really glad  to get to have one of these since I do walk Millie often, and I’m hoping to get back into the C25K really soon as well. Better safe than sorry, right? Oh, and I ordered it in Pink….just because. :)

Dogs 2

  • For some crazy reason, it’s less than 40 days until Thanksgiving! Can you believe this year is almost over? What the heck happened to the time? Ugh…

 

  • I ordered some new glasses this weekend. I haven’t owned a new pair of glasses in over two years. These are the frames…I’m such a dork, I know. :)

 

  • My Fantasy Football team this year stinks. I’ve won two matches total. Why can’t I ever make good picks…ugh! I feel like I have the most injuries ever, but I don’t want to let my players go. :(

Dogs 4

  • I want to apologize to my food blog readers. I have been making the same things over and over, because it’s not quite cold enough to bring on the Fall/Winter recipes. Recipes will be coming soon. I just need the weather to decide if it’s still Summer or if it’s Fall yet. Gotta love Louisiana, right?