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Ten Years In

10 years of marriage.  14 years together.  You are my favorite human being and soul mate.  You never let me walk through anything alone; and life without you would be totally unfathomable.  I admire your character, patience, sense of humor, and your kindness that you show to everyone.  Most of all, you are my very best friend.  You are the greatest gift of my life, and each day spent with you is truly a gift.  I look forward to many, many more years together, knowing that we can get through anything together.  Each year gets better with you always by my side through everything.  This has been an exceptional year filled with many changes with our expanding little family, a positively wonderful gift!  I have truly enjoyed seeing you become an incredible dad to our cherubs!  You are the best part of who I have become!  Happy tenth anniversary, my love!

 

Are You in the Photos?

Prior to having baby Alex, I was the person always taking the photos, and while I appeared in some images, I did not appear in too many overall.  Now, having a baby, I want to have some images where Doug and I are photographed with our baby girl!  A few times in the past two weeks, we took a look at the weather and then did some impromptu photo shoots together.  (I just made sure to dry my hair, which is a treat these days!)  It is easy and it does not require much time or planning!  We hope to take advantage of the weather through the fall and take some more photos together, as our baby Alex is not going to be small for too long, and we want to be able to capture this time with her in our arms, to hold onto forever!

I even think when we are out and about, we will start asking people, even strangers, to take photos of us with Alex and Victory.  I want to have Doug and I represented more in our camera roll!

I still do impromptu photo shoot with Victory and baby Alex, a few of those recent images appear below, too!  I try to always keep my camera on hand, especially when I think, “I want to remember this moment!”  It is always fun to capture the everyday, the moments we are most likely to remember versus only capturing the “big” events and milestones.  Play time in the mornings is a favorite for baby Alex and Victory, who is now fully integrated with her sister!  Victory joins play time and story time each morning and Victory licks baby Alex literally from head to toe, including every fold and roll!  It is adorable and I think Victory knows that she is a ‘big sister’ or a ‘co-mamma!’  It has been really wonderful to witness Victory’s love for her sister!  Baby Alex is aware of Victory, but she has not yet fully ‘discovered’ Victory — we can’t wait until this happens!

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

Jones Soda: Please Vote for Biscuit!

I submitted this image, shown below, a few years ago, while our dear Biscuit was still alive, and I was notified recently that Biscuit is a ‘staff pick’ to possibly appear on the Jones Soda label again!

In the image, Biscuit is sitting with many bottles of Jones Soda with his image appearing on the Jones Soda label.

I would be most grateful if you vote today via the link below, which only takes a second and helps increase the chances of Biscuit getting on a Jones Soda label again!  (Also, please feel free to share — 1 vote per I.P. address is permitted!)

*Vote Here: http://gallery.jonessoda.com/gallery/view.php?ID=1322367&offset=1

 

Thank you!

Around Here: February 2017

Happy February!  Another month has just about flown by once again!  This has been a busy month for us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in February!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — an image at a time — I am getting so close to finally finishing, about 12 percent of the project remains to be completed and the project is taking shape!

-making homemade dinners with Doug, while trying new recipes and old favorite recipes, too.  Here is an old favorite recipe.  We make a really good homemade pizza, too!

-enjoying date nights together!

-enjoying time outside.  It has been unseasonably warm here for February, which has been really nice.  We have been able to open our windows and let in fresh air along with enjoying long walks around the neighborhood together!  Victory loves riding in her Hound About!  We hope spring will officially come soon!

-going to the dog park with our Victory!

-finished making all of our photo books from 2008 through the present via Artifact Uprising and we have ordered almost all of them!

-started getting fine art prints printed to frame and hang around the house.  This has been on my list for some time, which I hope to finish this year!

-we finished our taxes!

-we made some clothing donations in our attempt to adopt the Marie Kondo method!

-enjoying many snuggles with our fur girl, Victory!  She had her first dental this week and she is doing well, thankfully!

-started the second season of The Missing — it is very good and keeps you on the edge of your seat!

-started Big Little Lies — we are only one episode in, but it is pretty good.

-I was not able to get to any reading completed this month, unfortunately.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially at the gym!

-achieveing 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Five Year Blogiversary!

Today is the five-year Blogiversary of www.biscuitsspace.com in conjunction with my photography website.  It is really difficult to believe that five years have already passed by so quickly!  Many things have changed over the past few years, but some things remain the same, fortunately.

If it were not for our beloved Biscuit, I am not sure I would have ever started blogging and I know that I would not have started my long-term photography project, which is so close to completion, for which Biscuit and Victory are my inspiration.  Biscuit was such a blessing and gift to us.  Biscuit permanently changed our lives in so many positive ways and Biscuit sent us our precious little rescue sheltie, Victory, who we adore and love, shown below!  And, coincidentally, Victory is as old as the blog!

Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you, and I hope that you continue to enjoy visiting and reading the blog!

Thank you so very much!  xoxo

 

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Productivity: Finding the Time

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It is already near the end of January.  I have been working on finishing my long-term photography project for what feels like a really long time — almost four years this spring.  I am getting close to finally finishing!  However, the hardest part, for me, is finding enough time to finish this project.  Beginning this year, I have made a few changes, outlined below, which has helped me to complete this endeavor.

1. Identifying your most productive time: Everyone has a time of day where they are most productive and alert.  Figure out what this time is for you, as it is best to carve out time during these optimal times and leverage these times accordingly.

2. Getting up earlier: Several days a week I am waking up one to two hours earlier than usual.  I am most productive in the mornings and this time provides me with a quiet house, fresh eyes, and a clear mind to work before diving into the day.  It has really helped me, so far.

3.  Scheduling regular dedicated work time:  Often, the time escapes us very easily and, before we know it, the day is almost over.  To avoid this, I consistently schedule ‘work time’ devoted to my photography project, and I select times that will not likely have conflicts in order to make the work time possible.  I have found this scheduling really helps keep me on track.

4. Getting plenty of rest: I am able to do my best work when I have had ample rest, especially since this project requires significant concentration and focus.

5. Getting regular exercise: Exercise provides a reset, which is always helpful and, new, unexpected ideas often flow in during these times.

6. Taking breaks: It is helpful to take breaks when needed.  Breaks are essential and provide space and help provide a new perspective once returning to the work.

7. Avoiding interruptions: I have found it helpful to turn off my phone; email; and social media to prevent distractions.  It is amazing how small interruptions are very disruptive to making progress on a project.

8. Saying “No.”: It is really easy to take on more work and commitments; and then you find that the time that you have carved out for your project is gone.  While I am trying to finish my project, I have found it is best to limit any additional commitments in order to preserve work time.

9. Being Open: While you are working on a long-term project, the work and direction often changes.  It is therefore important to stay open, as these projects take on a life of their own, and this is where the ‘big magic’ happens.

19. Keeping the Faith: Having faith is probably the most important component to wading through any large endeavor.

“You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you.  Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion.  We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

Sashi is Back for a Third Time!

Sashi is back for a third time!  I initially wrote about the first book in the Sashi Series entitled, Sashi, the Scared Little Sheltie!here; and I also wrote about the second book, Sashi Adopts a Brother, a continuation on the Sashi Series, here.  The author, Linda Greiner, recently contacted me and sent me her third book with illustrator, Morgan Spicer, entitled, Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl, a continuation in the Sashi Series, which is now available for purchase!  A portion of the sales are donated to help Shetland Sheepdogs in the New Jersey area.

As those who have been reading the blog know, we love shelties and we are strong proponents of dog rescue and dog fostering — and all of the books in the Sashi series speak to these important issues.  This newest book, in the Sashi Series, introduces the story of Cinnamon, puppy mill dog who becomes a foster dog — and you will have to read the book to find out the ending to Cinnamon’s story!  So if you are looking for a fun children’s book to teach about the positive implications of dog rescue and dog fostering, I highly recommend this book and the other books in the Sashi Series.  And, if you love shelties you will for sure love this book!  The illustrations are vivid and beautiful, which brings this true story to life.  (All of the books in the Sashi Series are based on true stories).

Below is an excerpt from the author about Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl:

“Anna and her mother love fostering Shelties through Shetland Sheepdog Rescue.  By taking care of rescued dogs, they help the dogs become ready to find a forever home.  They’ve already adopted two Shelties of their own, Sashi and Buddy, and their newest foster is a shy girl named Cinnamon who’s been rescued from a puppy mill.  Neglected and frightened, Cinnamon has a tough time settling into her new home at first but with help from Sashi and Buddy, Cinnamon realizes she doesn’t have to be afraid.  Now loved and cared for, Cinnamon learns to be happy and playful again and soon finds her forever home.  Based on the true story of Cinnamon, this tale addresses the reality of puppy mills while keeping the story light, warm, and accessible to young readers.”

 

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The above images are courtesy of Linda Greiner.

You can view a trailer of the book, Sahsi and the Puppy Mill Girl, here.

 

Why We Love Being ‘Puppy Parents!’

“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased.  It is no small gift.  It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born.  What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass?  What would this world be like without dogs?” ―Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

Doug and I love being ‘puppy parents!’  We are always showered with unconditional love from our fur girl, Victory, everyday!  Victory is fully integrated into our lives, and we are fully integrated into her life.  We all cannot imagine a life without the other.  Victory is always there, with us, and just her presence makes everything better and more complete.  She is blossoming into a wonderful and more confident fur girl!  I cannot imagine not going to bed and waking up with Victory’s kisses in the morning as she lays splayed out on our pillows above one of our heads sleeping in with us.  She often wakes Doug up with constant kisses on his face as early as 3:00 a.m., but he does not mind.  It is Victory’s way of showing her love and affection.  I cannot imagine a morning where Victory is not sitting on our bed while we get ready in the morning, patiently waiting for her breakfast.  We know that our fur girl knows that she no longer has to worry about living in a terrible hoarding situation, like the one she came from.  She knows that she is safe forever and that she lives like a little princess!  We know that we are better for having a furry family member in our lives.  Our hearts and outlook have grown ten-fold.  Doug and I try never to take Victory or anything, for that matter, for granted.  We try to take it all in and savor it, as every moment is fleeting.  We are grateful.

Happy Wednesday!  If all goes as planned over Thanksgiving, our fur girl is going to have a family reunion with Chrissy, another survivor of the same horrible hoarding situation that Victory also lived in prior to being rescued.  You can see their resemblance here!   Stay tuned.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!

 

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Celebrating 40 Years!

It was our parents’ 40th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday; and before our parents left for their trip commemorating this milestone, we gave them a surprise anniversary gift.  The three of us, including our spouses, gave our parents money to use towards taking a trip to England; and we also made a custom anniversary card along with photo cards spanning the past 40 years beginning with our parents’ honeymoon in 1975 to the Virgin Islands!

Below are a few images (courtesy of my sister), taken at my sister and brother-in-law’s house, of our parents opening their surprise gift from all of us, which they loved!


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Tips: Five Summer Dangers for Furry Family Members

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) contacted me to share some tips to help keep your furry family members out of harms way this summer.  Hopefully, everyone is staying cool!

1. Fireworks & Thunderstorms: Loud noises like fireworks are one of the top reasons furry family members go missing, so secure your furry family member in an escape-proof place.  If your furry family member does go missing, download the ASPCA app for a free step-by-step digital toolkit to help find your pet.

2. Sun and Heat: High summer temperatures can mean dehydration, overheating, and scorched paws.  Know the signs of overheating (excessive panting, increased heart rate, and weakness) and bring your furry family member indoors or to a cool, shady place.

3. Toxic Chemicals: Insecticides, citronella products, and glow sticks are toxic to pets.  Keep your furry family member away from areas where chemicals have been sprayed and ensure dangerous products are out of reach.

4. Parties & Barbecues: If your furry family member is joining the party, make sure guests don’t feed your furry family member human food (especially grapes, onions, avocado, and chocolate).

5. Hot Cars: Even with the windows open an inch, a car’s temperature can reach over 100° in 10 minutes on an 85° day.  Therefore, leave your pet safely at home on hot days.

 

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The above image is courtesy of the ASPCA.