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Victory: Photography Project — 34

“They motivate us to play, be affectionate, seek adventure, and be loyal.” ~Tom Hayden

Beginning in January of this year, I began a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog!  I have also been documenting Victory’s milestones so to speak each month — you can read these here!  I think that it is fund to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories.

On our vacation we took Victory boating since we were staying in a lake house with these beautiful views below.  We were not sure if she was going to like the water since she can do without bath time that she receives about once a month!  However, to our surprise, Victory loved the canoe and she placed herself at the bow of the canoe when we went canoeing!  She loved it and she smiled the entire time, evidenced in the images below!  We went out pretty far on the lake, and made it back to the dock safely, i.e, we did not flip the canoe!  I highly recommend the life jacket from RC pets.  It fit her really well and she looked great!

Happy Tuesday!


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Making Pizza on the Grill!

I typically do not blog about cooking or baking; however, Doug and I recently made our first personal pizzas on our Big Green Egg!  They turned out really well!  Below are the finished pizzas that we made on the grill!  We look forward to making more pizzas on the grill (year round)!  The pizzas turned out crispy and delicious!  The ingredients are listed below!


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King Arthur Pizza Dough Mix

King Arthur Pizza Doug Flavor


Flavored Oil (used as a garnish on the pizzas)

LaRosa’s Pizza Sauce

Fresh mozzarella cheese (right pizza)

Shredded mozzarella cheese (left pizza)

Pepperoni (left pizza)

Peppers (right pizza)

Fresh basil (both pizzas)

Cherry tomatoes (right pizza)

Pizza stones


Happy Monday!

Victory: Photography Project — 33

“Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” ~Unknown

Beginning in January of this year, I began a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog!  I have also been documenting Victory’s milestones so to speak each month — you can read these here!  I think that it is fund to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories.

This year, our vacation began in Manchester, Vermont, where we took our precious Biscuit in the spring of 2013.   We took Victory to the Orvis flagship store in Manchester, Vermont.  Upon arriving home, I later realized that I had similar photographs of Biscuit and Victory at the Orvis Flagship Store where Biscuit was the Orvis Cover Dog Winner and Centerfold and represented the Orvis Petfinder Commitment supporting and promoting dog rescue! (Plus, Manchester is extremely dog friendly with great places to shop! Victory went into all of the stores with us, including the dressing rooms!)  The people at Orvis remembered us and were sad to learn of Biscuit’s passing.  We introduced our little Victory and we had a great time together!  Victory had fun trying out (picking out) the Orvis dog beds and trying on her new Orvis coat!  We made many happy memories!  Below are images of our fur babies and lovies, Biscuit and Victory, side by side, taken at the same place approximately fifteen months apart.

Happy Friday!


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Things I Love: Fall 2014

It is officially fall, and I wanted to share some items that I love!  This is our favorite time of year for many reasons!  We adopted our little Victory in the fall and her one-year anniversary/birthday is approaching next month, which is difficult to believe!  We have our wedding anniversary next month!  My sister gets married very soon — next month!  We moved to our new house in the fall (and sold our last home in the fall)!  And we just love everything fall!  We have trips to cider mill and the pumpkin patch planned with our Victory!  You can start to feel the crisp fall air in the mornings and evenings, which I love!  Victory has also secured her Halloween costume for this year, which is just darling!


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1. Downton Abbey – Doug and I started watching Downton Abbey, while on vacation, and we got through the first three seasons and we were hooked!  The CD for season four just arrived and we cannot wait to start watching and see what happens next!

2. Bird By Bird  I reread Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott on vacation, and it contains really helpful advice for creatives, not just writers.  I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a dose of inspiration with your creative endeavors!  I previously wrote about this good read here.

3. Lululemon Tanks — I love Lululemon — especially since Biscuit could and Victory can go inside the Lululemon stores and dressing rooms with me!  While in Canada, where Lululemon is headquartered, I got some new Lululemon wear and I especially love my new tanks!  Oh, and Victory tried on some Lululemon yoga gear — just kidding — she hopped out of her Hound About and she did go with me into the dressing room, though — everyone thought she was adorable!

4. Good Life Project — I love the Good Life Project, which has weekly interviews with creatives, entrepreneurs, and many other interesting people!  The Good Life Project just wrapped up its video project, and will be turning its efforts to audio.  If you are interested in some good interviews, I highly recommend checking out the interviews on this website!  I have viewed most of the interviews over the past two years and they are quite insightful.

5. Tim Hortons Hot Chocolate — I tried this hot chocolate on vacation since Doug likes Tim Hortons so much!  It is quite tasty and I brought back a can of this hot chocolate for this fall and winter!  If you are looking for good hot chocolate, this is a good one!

6. Moleskin Journals — I have several Moleskin journals and they hold up really well during travel and they last a long time — quite durable!  They are very convenient to write down just about anything.  I like to have a place where I can write down notes to myself because otherwise, I will forget.  It is a lifesaver!

You can view other things I love here!

Happy Wednesday!

Taking a Break = Invigoration

During vacation for several weeks, I took a break, which I do not practice often enough.  What I noticed is that I really needed a break from my work and the usual routine — we were so ready for a long vacation.  I felt a bit drained and worn out, to be honest.  I also noticed that the intentional break gave me space to think about other things that had been pushed to the back burner as well as time to reflect on the projects that I am currently working on.  Most of all, I felt free.  After taking this long break during vacation, I felt more invigorated and, upon our return, I was ready to get back to work with a new perspective.  A change of scenery really does wonders — especially if you get to spend your days vacationing with your lovies (Doug and Victory)!  Therefore, I highly recommend taking intentional and frequent breaks  to enrich your work and the creative process.  (Breaks do not have to consist of vacations!)  Also, I often find that a problem that I am working on in my work becomes more clear after I have stepped away, even for a short period of time, and I am then able to come back with a fresh perspective.  Breaks = Invigoration.

Happy Tuesday!


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Good Read: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

During our vacation, I read a few books and I also reread Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  I always enjoy Anne Lamott’s books.  Although this is book is mainly for writers, I found that her words are transferable to any creative discipline.  Below are some of my favorite quotes from her book, and perhaps you will find her words inspiring, too.


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“E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘writing a novel is like driving a car at night.  You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’  You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way.  You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.  This is right up there with the best advice about writing, or life, I have ever heard.”


“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts.  You need to start somewhere.   Start by getting something — anything — down on paper.  A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft — you just get it down.  The second draft is the up draft — you fix it up.  You try to say what you have to say more accurately.  And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it’s loose or cramped or decayed, or eve, God help us, healthy.”


“Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop.  You can’t — and, in fact, you’re not supposed to — know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.”


“You may need someone else to bounce your material off of, probably a friend or a mate, someone who can tell you if the seams show, or if you’ve lurched off track, or even that it is not as bad as you thought … But by all means let someone else take a look at your work.  It’s too hard always to have to be the executioner.”


“That’s how real life works, in our daily lives as well as in the convalescent home and even at the deathbed, and this is what good writing allows us to notice sometimes.  You can see the underlying essence only when you strip away the busyness, and then some surprising connections appear.”


“So we need to sit there, and breathe, calm ourselves down, push bad our sleeves, and begin again.”


“Writers tend to be so paranoid about talking about their work because no one, including us, really understands how it works.  But it can help a great deal if you have someone you can call when you need a pep talk, someone you have learned to trust, someone who is honest and generous and who won’t jinx you.”


“And I don’t think you have that kind of time either.  I don’t think you have the time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good enough at it, and I don’t think you have time to waste on someone who does not respond to you with kindness and respect.”


“If you look around, I think you will find the person you need.  Almost every writer I’ve ever known has been able to find someone who could be both a friend and a critic.  You’ll know when the person is right for you and when you are right for that person.  It’s not unlike finding a mate, where little by little you begin to feel that you’ve stepped into a share that was waiting there all along.”


“Publication is not going to change your life or solve your problems.  Publication will not make you more confident or more beautiful, and it will probably not make you any richer.”


“Being enough was going to have to be an inside job.”


“You can make the work a chore, or you can have a good time.  You can do it the way you used to clear the dinner dishes when  you were thirteen, or you can do it as a Japanese person would perform a tea ceremony, with a level of concentration and care in which you can lose yourself, and so in which you can find yourself.”


“The best thing about being an artist, instead of a madam or someone who writes letters to the editor, is that you get to engage in satisfying work.”


Victory: 11 Months In

“A dog is one of the few things in life that is as it seems.” ~Mark J. Asher

Last Friday marked eleven months since we adopted our little Victory!  You can read more about the previous months’ milestones here.  The time is just flying by and Victory is blossoming and it is hard to believe that she has been with us almost a year now!

Below are some things that we learned about Victory this month:

  • She travels really well.  She was a trooper in the car both ways to and from Quebec!  She did really well.  She sat on my lap the entire drive (both ways) and Doug, fortunately, did all the driving for us!
  • She loves the beach!  At first, we were not sure whether Victory would like the water of the beach for that matter since she usually is trying to escape her bath!  (She is getting better, but she would rather not be bothered with a bath — however, we gave her a bath this weekend after arriving home!)  However, she dabbled her paws in the water and she went deeper and deeper into the water!
  • She likes to go boating!  We went boating and canoeing on our vacation and Victory loved it!  We did not tip the canoe during the times we went canoeing!  She gladly wore hew new life jacket!  She looked adorable in her new life jacket!
  • She enjoyed going on all of our adventures and outings during our vacation!  Everyone loved her and said plus beau chien (most beautiful dog) when they saw her!
  • She loved riding in her Hound About in Montreal.  Since Montreal is a big city, the Hound About came in really handy because otherwise, with all the people, Victory would not have been able to handle the sensory overload and it would have frightened her.  So, she rode along in class!
  • Victory now sleeps on her new Orvis bed (she recently picked one out while we visited the Orvis flagship store in Manchester, Vermont) in my office next to me!  Prior, she got really scared and would run out of my office to her ‘hut!’  Now, after vacation, she seems to have even more confidence and I am happy to have little Victory keep me company while I work!
  • We are convinced that bedtime is her favorite time of day.  It is when she is very lively!  Doug says it is when her “pack” is all together!  She loves playing before bed and giving us tons of kisses and now she loves it when I put my hand in her mouth and she tries to catch my hand!  And yes, she still likes to Doug’s armpits — every night!  Doug woke up with wet armpits this morning!  We are not sure of the attraction there!
  • Most of all, we think that Victory is getting more comfortable and she is gaining confidence.  She is smart, too!  Even after a long ride home from Quebec, she knew when we were within a few miles of the house!  She popped up on my lap, looked out the window, and she knew home was near, which is her usual response when we drive home with her after an outing, etc.

If you have not already, be sure to check out the six month video, our second video, and our most recent video of our little Victory!  (I hope to make more videos soon!)

Below are a few photos with our precious Victory!

Happy Friday!


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