• December 28, 2016

    December Round Up

    feature-image

    Whelp, looks like I managed to miss most of December, huh?  *sigh*  My goal was to have a homemade Christmas, which we did… but I totally underestimated how much time that would consume!  So, here we are with the monthly round  up and I’ll try to touch on everything we enjoyed this past month!

    dining-room

    nativity

    As soon as Thanksgiving was over (ok, ok, ok… a little, teensy bit before it was really over) I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and went to town on our house.  And since I felt like we needed a little extra cheer this year, I found a pencil tree to put in our entry way too!  So.  Two trees.  I threatened to put up a third, but lost the oomph to do it.  Ah, well, there’s always next year, eh?

    little-tree

    big-tree

    2015

    Then it was time to get started on my Homemade Christmas goal from my 30 before 30 list!

    ornaments-in-progress

    stitches

    The first craft I started was these beautiful Nordic inspired ornaments.  These became gifts for family and friends and were a lot of fun to make!  We also decorated our own home with them – we tried to stick to a red and white theme this year and they added something really special on the tree.

    cookies

    In addition to ornaments, we gave friends and family Christmas cookies.  I made so. many. cookies.  And I learned how to use a cookie press (I think I need one of my own now…) for Danish vanilla cookies.  Oh, and the bread!  I made eggnog bread  and monkey bread for Christmas morning!  I was in the kitchen a lot this December!  *nods*  So glad my folks took care of us for Christmas dinner!

    crafty-nativity

    Another craft project I worked on was this beautiful nativity.  I’ve always been frustrated that I can’t find a realistic nativity with Middle Eastern people – Jesus was not white, ya’ll!  Anyway, I loved the concept of the silhouettes, so that solved it all for me!  :)  Click here for full instructions and info on where to get the vinyl designs.  The last step is to spray the glass with Frosted Glass spray paint stuff… but it’s been so cold this December, I was afraid the temperatures would ruin the paint.  Next year, it’ll be frosty glass!

    socks

    Another favorite thing I did this month was the Secret Santa at work.  I always get too into it, but it’s really fun to spoil one of the amazing women I work with and let her know how much I appreciate her!  And I’ll admit, I kind of like being spoiled by someone else too!  Anyway, the most hilarious gift I received this year was socks with bandanna wearing corgi’s on them.  So silly – I really love them!  I think Ollie approves too…

    ollie

    I didn’t have a lot of time for things other than all the crazy Christmas shenanigans, so I didn’t really consume much media.  I did make it out to see Fantastic Beasts  and Where to Find Them early in the month and Rogue One the weekend it came out.  I also caught Hairspray Live on NBC and I read one book for book club – Yes Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson.  We stayed home a lot and watched old Christmas movies while I worked on crafts too, so that was fun.

    frosty

    And there you have it!  I’m pretty sure that’s all I’ve got for this month!  Sure felt busier than it looks like it was… but I learned my lesson!  I will start Christmas crafts way earlier next year!  I hope you enjoyed your holidays this year and felt the love of friends and family.  Best wishes for a safe and happy new year – see you in 2017!

  • August 5, 2015

    Ollie’s First Camping Trip

    Feature-Image

    Recently, my husband and I decided to take our little corgi, Ollivander, on his first camping trip.  We’ve been working with him to be more social and less of a grump and figured he might be ready.  I was a little nervous to take him, but we made it through 2 nights of sleeping in a tent and even took him on a very successful 4 mile hike!

    The hike went around a reservoir near the campground and was just beautiful.  The trail itself was well maintained which made things much easier on Ollie’s little bitty legs.  *grin*

    We had encounters with some great small woodland creatures, but my favorites were the frogs!  There were (literally) thousands of them and it was so hard not to step on them!  I felt like I was tiptoeing through the woods!

    Do you see them?

    Do you see them?

    There were also less wild interactions… Where we were camping, it’s open range.  This means that there were all kinds of surprise encounters with cows.  The best, though, was this bovine beach party:

    Beach-Party

    After hiking, we checked out the creek and watched the water.  Ollie was so tired that he didn’t want to play at all, preferring to sit stoically and observe his domain.  It was adorable.

    Relaxing

     

    Creek

    Of course, the people had their own version of a relaxing reward:

    Reward

    Each night we closed down camp with a fire and delicious dinner and dessert!  I found some gluten free graham crackers and we had the best s’mores I’ve ever eaten!  Ollie, ever the work hound, helped build the fire.

    Fire

    What a helper, eh?  *grin*

    So, that was Ollie’s first foray into the forest.  I call him my mountain dog now and I think he really likes it!

  • January 21, 2015

    Pet Bed DIY

    Feature-Image

    For a while now, our cat has been sleeping on an old (ugly) bean bag chair that was carelessly left in our basement just long enough for him to get attached.  It’s hideous, but he didn’t have anywhere else (nice) to sleep, so the bean bag chair had to stay.  In a effort to take back my basement, I decided to make our kitty a new bed from a re-purposed t-shirt and some extra fleece fabric I had laying around.

    This is actually the second pillow/cover combination I have made – my dog has a bigger one made of old jeans.  I really like that I can pull the pillow insert out from the cover and wash the cover rather than trying to wash a giant pillow in my machine.  Not only is it easier on my machine, but it also gets washed a lot more frequently because it is so much easier!  Stinky pet beds are not something I am a big fan of.

    Supplies

    Items you will need:

    • Fabric for the cover
    • Old t-shirt or other fabric for the pillow insert
    • Pillow stuffing
    • Sewing machine, thread, pins, scissors, etc.

     

    Instructions:

    TShirt-Pillow

    To make the pillow insert, cut an old t-shirt right under the arms so it’s a square/rectangle.  I used one of my husband’s medium sized shirts and the dimensions came out to 19×12 inches.  You can also use new fabric and other sizes to accommodate what supplies you have available as well as your pet’s specific needs.

    Sew-Up-The-Sides

    Next, turn the shirt piece inside-out and sew up the sides, leaving a hole at the end big enough to turn it rightside-out.

    Stuff-Pillow

    Turn the pillow insert rightside-out and stuff it with the pillow stuffing.  Then, you will sew up the hole.  Normally, I would do a blind stitch here by hand so you wouldn’t see where the hole had been, but this is a pet bed and the insert will not be seen, so I took the lazy gal’s way out and used my machine to close it up.

    Measure

    To make the cover for your insert, lay the outer fabric out and place your pillow insert on top so you can get an idea of what size to cut it to.  For my 19×12 insert, I used 15×53 of the cover fabric.

    Hem

    Once your cover fabric is cut, hem both ends by folding in one inch and then rolling that again and sewing it down (after hemming, my cover measured 15×49).

    Right-Side-Out

    Now, fold over (inside out) 15 inches on one side and 13 inches up on the other side so they overlap each other.  Sew up both sides, leaving the open pocket.

    Turn right-side out and stuff the pillow inside the cover through the open pocket and you’re done!

    Happy-Kitty

    Give the pillow to your pet and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done and a comfy pet.

     

    Pro-Tip: If you’re making this pillow for your cat and he isn’t terribly impressed by it at first, hide some catnip inside the cover.  This will encourage him to at least give it a try.  *grin*

  • November 26, 2014

    National Dog Show Predictions

    Purina National Dog Show Feature Image

    Every year the American Kennel Club holds the National Dog Show in Philadelphia.  Watching the show has become a favorite part of my Thanksgiving tradition and I always cheer on the corgis.  *grin*

    This year, I thought it might be fun to try and predict the winning breeds.  First, though, we should talk about how the show actually works.

    There are seven categories and many breeds for each category: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Herding, and Non Sporting.

    Now, it is impossible to know which specific dogs will be selected as best in breed and represent their breed in the show we all see on TV.  This is because there is, first, a competition of each breed (sometimes hundreds of the same breed of dog will compete) to determine who is best in breed.  The animals who are determined as best in breed will go on the complete against the other winners in each category to be best in show.  Because of this, my guesses and hopes for which dog will win this year are purely guesses based on my preferences – not any kid of actual logic or ability to see how dogs from each group stand up againstthe others.

    Since 2004, the winners of best in show were (in order): Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Toy Poodle, Australian Shepherd, Pointer, Scottish Terrier, Irish Setter, Wire Fox Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and American Foxhound.  I think I’m seeing a trend here… yes?

    No matter, things can always change, right?  So lets jump in and see what we think!

    Nova Scotia Duck Trolling Retriever

    Sporting breeds were bred to assist with hunting by locating, marking, flushing out, and retrieving wild game.  Breeds included in this group are: English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Pointer, German Shorthaired, Pointer, Weimaraner, Vizsla, Brittany, German Wirehaired, Pointer, Wirehaired Pointing, Griffon, Spinone Italiano, Flat-Coated Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling, Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel (ASCOB), Cocker Spaniel (Parti-Color), Cocker Spaniel (Black)

    For the sporting group, I choose the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.  Not only are these dogs adorable, but they have a ridiculous name and probably deserve to win just for that.

    Beagle

    Afghan Hound, Saluki, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Greyhound, Whippet, Borzoi, Scottish Deerhound, Irish Wolfhound, American Foxhound, English Foxhound, Harrier, Beagle (15 inch), Beagle (13 inch), Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Norwegian Elkhound, Basenji, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Otterhound, Petit Bassett Griffon, Vendéen, Basset Hound, Dachshund (Smooth), Dachshund (Longhaired), Dachshund (Wirehaired), Plott

    For the hound group, my prediction is that the Beagle (let’s say the 15 inch) will win.  Beagles were bred for tracking and are stubborn, smart, and full to the brim with energy.  They also have beautiful coloring.

    Akita

    The working breeds were bred for intelligence and strength.  These dogs have, historically, served as police dogs, guard dogs, and service animals.  Included breeds are: Doberman Pinscher, German Pinscher, Black Russian Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Bernese, Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Akita, Boxer, Great Dane, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Portuguese Water Dog, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz, Komondor, Anatolian, Shepherd Dog, Tibetan Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, Chinook

    In this group, I’m going to vote for the Akita.  These dogs are known for their intelligence, assertiveness, and protective nature.  They can also be pretty aggressive, if not properly trained.  Akita’s are so soft looking and I want to cuddle one.

    West Highland Terrier

    Terriers were bred mostly in Britain for hunting small animals like rats and badgers.  They are fast, energetic, and brave animals.  Terrier breeds are: Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Border Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Manchester Terrier (Standard), Miniature Schnauzer, Australian Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, White Bull Terrier (White), Colored Bull Terrier (Colored), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier

    I’m rather partial to the Westie (West Highland Terrier) because of their sweet personalities.  These little guys are affectionate and friendly, but much less hyperactive than many of the other terrier breeds.

    Yorkshire Terrier

    The toy breeds were always meant for companionship and to be kept as indoor pets.  This group includes: Italian Greyhound, Chinese Crested, Toy Poodle, Pomeranian, Smooth Coat Chihuahua, Long Coat Chihuahua, Toy Fox Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Toy Manchester Terrier, Havanese, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Cavalier King Charles, Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel (B&PC), Japanese Chin, Papillon, Silky Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Pug Pekingese

    I love Yorkshire terriers for this group.  The show dogs have such beautiful, long coats… I like to think about these dogs sitting on the laps of fancy ladies who have nothing else to do but brush their shiny coats.

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi

    Herding dogs were bred for just that, herding.  These are hard working, intelligent animals who, historically, worked on farms to move sheep and cattle from place to place.  Included in the herding breeds are: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Briard, Collie (Rough), Collie (Smooth), Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Bearded Collie, Old English Sheepdog, Polish Lowland, Sheepdog, Puli, Canaan Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Bouvier des Flandres, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, German Shepherd Dog, Swedish Vallhund, Beauceron

    I can’t recall ever seeing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi outperform the others in this category, but Ollie seems to think this is their year.  Let’s hope so!  *grin*

    Shiba Inu

    And last but not least, the nonsporting group which is literally just a catchall for the leftover breeds.  Because it’s a hodgepodge of different animals, it’s hard to think critically about what breed ought to win out over the others.  This group consists of: Poodle (Standard), Poodle (Miniature), Bichon Frise, Löwchen, Dalmatian, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, American Eskimo Dog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Shiba Inu, Schipperke, Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Bulldog

    My favorite is the shiba inu.  These dogs were bred in Japan as companions and hunters.  They are very pretty dogs and very loyal to their families.

     

    From these choices for best in breed, I would like to make my hopeful guess that a Pembroke Welsh Corgi will win the best in show.  I’m a little biased, though, so if a corgi can’t win, my second choice is the west highland terrier.

    I hope you’ll watch the National Dog Show with me tomorrow to see if my guesses and preferences match up with the reality!

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

     

    Photos and research is thanks to:

    http://nds.nationaldogshow.com/

    http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/dog-show.htm

    https://www.purina.com/ 

  • May 21, 2014

    Top 5 Corgis on the Internet (So Far)

    Ollie

    Time for another top five, ya’ll!  Today, for your viewing pleasure, I have compiled a list of the top five corgi’s on the internet (so far).  Why?

    Because corgi’s are awesome.

    I’m sure I am a little biased here, but… seriously… have you ever seen a cuter dog than a corgi?

    Before we got Ollie (short for Ollivander), I spent hours looking at pictures and searching for puppies.  I was pretty obsessed and, I have to admit, that hasn’t changed much since bringing him home.  I love everything about him… his big ears, tiny tail, and playful personality make me so happy!  But, I know I’ve posted several pictures of Ollie before… so I have picked five other corgis that are pretty okay.

    *grin*

    Enjoy!

    Corg Life Comic

    This is a panel from my new favorite web comic: Corg Life.  The strips are made up of hilarious stories from the author’s life with his corgi pal.  The art is adorable and he perfectly captures life with a corgi!

    Stephen Fry & a Corgi

    Now, this picture, I love because I’ve never seen anything more British than Stephen Fry walking a corgi in front of Buckingham Palace.  The only thing that could make this better is if David Tennant was stepping out of the TARDIS in the background.

    Corgi LARP

    Ok, so this one is obviously photoshopped, and would not be nearly so hilarious without the foam weapons, but I am totally ok with that.  These pups look like they are having so much fun at the beach!  I guess there are frequent corgi gatherings at beaches, so this was just an amazing opportunity to have a little fun.

    Link Corgi

    And speaking of dogs being nerds… I can’t get over this little guy dressed as Link.  It’s really his dopey smile that gets me… don’t you just want to cuddle him?

    And last but not least, Corgi Flop!  Those little legs work so hard to get him into that water!  SO CUTE!

    There you have it!  The Top Five corgis on the internet so far.  With the exception of Ollie, of course.  He’s the top corgi anywhere.  For all time.  *grin*