Tuesday, February 25, 2014


**PUPDATE! Aspen has been adopted!**

It's that time of the week again!  Here is a fun guest blogger from Red Collar Rescue...everyone meet Aspen!

Oh, hi there everybody!  I'm Aspen and Imma happy girl.  I'm about 3 years old in human years and I'm foto, uh, photo...um...I smile real pretty for the camera!


I'm not so great with the spelling, but Imma smart doggie.  I have a foster house right now and I am learnin' all the good stuff.  Like all my manners and where to go potty. Imma good learner.

I've got a fun puppy like personality and I'll probably be about 35 pounds when I get to my healthy weight.  I'll be about as tall as your knee when I am standing on all my feets.  Imma little taller when I do my investigatin'.

That's me, investigatin'.

Did I tell you already that I love to cuddle?  I do, I really do.  I roll over on my back for belly rubs because those are the best.  I get all wiggle and snuggley.  My foster mom says it's cute.

I also love to walk with ya and spread the joy.  People say that I'm like joy in motion, so I spread it wherever I go.  It's like a public service really.
Oh!  I love ta play.  It is super fun, fun, fun.  No toy is too big for me.  Look at this...

No problem.  I got dis.  You wanna play with me?  That's a silly question, I know.  Come play with me!  I'd be a great doggie at your house too.  I'd love for your house to be MY house!  

Dontcha wanna adopt me??  Pretty please???

Awe, such a sweet girl.  If you'd like to meet Aspen you can contact Red Collar Rescue via email at info@redcollar.org.

*All of the photos in this post are by the talented Amy of BH Studios.

Weekly Finds

I think I've mentioned on the blog a time or two or ten that the husband and I live in a home built in the 1930's.  While it has abundant character it is very low on storage space.  This gives me the excuse to fully embrace my container storage system addiction.  The husband lovingly calls it the basket system, since lots of my containers happen to be baskets.

Last week one of my work BFFs and I took a lunch time shopping trip.  Look at this lovely gem I found at Ross.

The bonus?  It was 12 bucks and some change and it's huge!

I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it when I picked it up and had to have it, but it quickly came to me.  Enter my books to read bin in my bedroom which was then stashed in my Thirty-One storage bag that I like to use for the beach.

It is very cute and helpful large tote, but it didn't look very stylish under my dressing table.  It looked as if I had been reorganizing my room and was tired of my books falling off the shelf of my TV table; so I stashed them in this tote because it was handy and slid it under my dressing table until I could come up with something better.  Oh, wait.  That is what happened.  And it looked it.

Ahh, now it looks like I am maximizing my storage space with coordinating accessories.  I like this better.  Plus this container has firmer sides so it is easier to pull out to browse for my next great read.

Don't you just love organizing?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Partial Facial Paralysis

Did you know that dogs can experience facial paralysis much like Bell's Palsy in humans?  I didn't.  Not until I came home one Monday evening and noticed that Sammy's face looked weird.  It had been a long Monday with a crazy week ahead.  I came home from work as usual and Sam was bouncing around with her newest Bark Box toy so I started playing.  Then I saw it and thought...hmmm...her jowl looks weird.

The more I looked at her the more I could see it.  Her left jowl was hanging and her left ear was flat and didn't perk up when I said milk bone.  I put my finger near her eye and no blinking.  OMG, what happened to my dog!?  I immediately text the emergency number for my vet.  I was thinking stroke.  The vet told me that if she was acting like herself, eating, playing, running, going to the bathroom then I didn't need the emergency vet I needed to monitor her and bring her in the morning.  And so we did.

The vet checked her out.  What are they looking for?  Well, the facial paralysis can be caused by lots of things; ear infection, hypothyroidism, injury, and cancer to name a few.  Sam's vet said they could find no cause of the paralysis which isn't uncommon.  They call it idiopathic.  Interesting that a word used commonly by very smart people starts almost the same as the word idiot.  I did not feel this about any of the veterinarians we saw, but I definitely feel this about the partial facial paralysis.  I want to know what's wrong with my dog!

Sam's regular vet recommended that we watch her closely, that we treat her left eye (which she can't blink) with drops to avoid eye ulcers (what!!!??), and if we wanted another opinion we could take her to a neurologist.

Starting with the eye ulcers, they are common in many breeds of dogs and they are caused by eye irritants or injury.   I am thinking if you can't blink your eye, it makes perfect sense that your eye could get random junk in it causing irritation; especially if you are a dog and like to roll in the grass (or dirt or mud).  Secondly, yes there are vet specialists.  Yes, we went and saw the vet neurologist and yes, it was expensive.  Sammy made sure of that.

We were in the neurologist's office and the doctor was in the process of telling me that Sam's results were all normal from her neurological exam.  At this point she had used no huge fancy equipment on my dog, so I asked exactly what came with a neurological exam.  They check the ears for infection (they cannot see far into the inner ear during this type of exam), they check her facial and neck nerves for response to stimulus (to confirm the paralysis is localized), they check her for equal gait and make sure she isn't leaning to one side.  She had passed all these tests with flying colors.

As the doctor was recommending continued monitoring, Sammy had a seizure.  Holy, what the what!?  Scariest vet moment in a long time.  The vet ran, actual running, to get a med to calm her down.  After that, the vet did recommend some scans.  I left Sam in the vet's capable hands and headed home in frightful tears.  I had never seen my dog have a seizure before.

After a partial day of work I went to meet with the vet and get my dog.  The vet did a doggie MRI (hello, expensive...I wish I had pet insurance) and a spinal tap.  The MRI revealed no abnormal growth or swelling in the brain.  The spinal tap revealed no infection that could be cause for swelling by the facial nerve (the big culprit they were looking for was meningitis).  So 3 very expensive haircuts later...

we are back to idiopathic facial paralysis.  Facial paralysis is an idiot.  And what about the seizure you ask?  Oh, well it's idiopathic too, but I do have an expert opinion telling me that combined with the facial paralysis and the super high level of stress Sam feels in vet offices could have caused her seizure; helped a tiny bit along by her recent dose of Trifexis.  Yes, I had heard warnings about Trifexis.  I had even talked to my vet about it.  What we had settled on was that as long as your dog was not already prone to seizures that it was safe.  The neurologist said that the drug can increase seizure chances in dogs prone to seizure.  Sammy will no longer be taking Trifexis and if she has another seizure the vet will evaluate her for a seizure med.

So on we go with our rock star buzz cut...

...eye drops, and messy eating.  The chances of her regaining full facial movement is 40%.  The other 60% makes up chances of partial or no recovery at all.  Am I upset I spent so much to find out that there is nothing scary wrong with my dog?  No.  I am thankful to be in a position that I could.  Am I happy about it?  Well, no.  I would have rather put it in my savings account, but that's okay, because my sweet girl is happy and healthy.

Thank goodness.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Grand Ideas has gone to the dogs today!!  Allow me to present my special guest blogger Novella from Red Collar Rescue!

Ello, I am Novella.  Look deep into my eyes...you will be hypnotized by how exotic and adorable I am.  Look at me, I am gorgeous.

I am a lively and fun loving 2 year old and I promise to entertain you for all the days of my life if you were to take me home with you.  I will be a faithful walking companion and I promise to learn quickly all that you wish to teach me.

I am the perfect size at 30 pounds, not too big and not too small.  I love to spend time with people and I will watch you curiously as I take in my surroundings.  I am learning all my important manners and I am a very clever girl. 

I am much to fancy for this kennel I am staying in.  Do you have space at your house?  Come and meet me.  You will be happy you did.

If you would be interested in fostering or adopting Novella you can contact Red Collar Rescue at info@redcollar.org.

*All of the photos in this post are by the wonderful Amy of BH Studios.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bring on Spring!

It is a gorgeous day here in Houston and despite the fact that I have to work a little bit today, I am excited about spring-like weather.  This weather is perfect for day dreaming about new spring outfits.


I absolutely adore this outfit especially the shoes and accessories.   I have been loving gold and mixed metal accessories lately and I received some bangle bracelets in for Christmas that would work perfectly with an outfit like this.  All I need is the shirt, shoes, and purse.  No big deal.  Ha.  This bag is definitely going on my wish list.  I heart it.


What is not to love about blue with pops of green?  I love it all.


Look mixed metal bangles!  I think the color mix in this outfit is so cute.  Love the bag and shoes.  So simple, so cute.

Okay, who wants to go shopping?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I wasn't going to do a Valentine's Day post, but when I saw that my guest bloggers for the past two weeks, Venus and Aleta, had starred in a Smooch a Pooch kissing booth; I couldn't help by steal these photos from the Red Collar Rescue Facebook page and share them!





Is this not one of the cutest things you have ever seen?  Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


**PUPDATE!!!!  Aleta has found her forever home!!!**

I am so happy to have all these guest bloggers!  It has been busy over here this week, and I might not have any blog posts up without them.  :)

You remember Supergirl from last week?  Here's her sister Aleta!!

Hi!  I'm Aleta and I'm a strong super hero just like my sister.  I survived being thrown out like a piece of trash by a human I thought loved me.  Why, oh why, would someone do that?

Thank goodness for that Red Collar Rescue volunteer that noticed that something was weird in the dump site.  She did a little investigating and found us, grabbed us all right up, and took us to safety.  She's a super hero too!

Just when I was thinking life was getting better, I was diagnosed with parvo.  Not to worry, my super powers kicked in and I kicked parvo to the curb!  I am a strong girl!

You'd think after my rough start that I wouldn't be able to trust anyone, but I have found great humans and now I'm part of a p-awesome foster family.  I'm not one to brag, but they tell everyone I'm a happy go lucky girl; I can find friends in all sized dogs, cats and humans!  I don't know a stranger.

I'm taking my training to the next level by going to obedience school.  I'm ready to impress you with my skills and how well potty trained I am.

I'm an inquisitive pup who loves to spend time outside.  I think it's really cool to explore and play.  I'd love to have a forever family to do all these fun things with.

Are you looking for a strong, friendly super hero?  I'm a great one.  You want to be my family?

If you'd like to meet super Aleta you can contact Red Collar Rescue at info@redcollar.org.  Personally, I think we can all use a little super hero in our lives.

The photos in this post were provided by the talented Amy of BH Studios.

Monday, February 10, 2014


**PUPDATE!! Scooter has found his forever home! **

Grand Ideas has happily gone to the dogs!!!  Scooter is doing the blogging today.

Hi.  My name is Scooter.  I am a sweet, calm guy.  Some people think I am real big, but I don't think I am too big.  I don't jump up or anything so it's okay to be 85 pounds.

I had a human once, but he got real sick and couldn't take care of me anymore, so now I need a new home.  I am staying in the kennel right now and I sure would rather be at your house with you.  I've lived in a house my whole life (around 5 whole years) so I am really good at living in one and I promise to be a good boy. 

I walk really good on a leash; I don't pull or anything.  I am kind of a slow paced easy going fellow.  I am just happy to be around people and get some pets.  I sure like the pets.

I'm really smart.  I know all my commands and I can even shake your hand.

Do you have room at your house for lots of love?  I have lots to share.

How can you resist that face!?  If you're interested in meeting Scooter contact me at EmaDW@emasgrandideas.com and we can make arrangements for Scooter to shake your hand.

The photos in this post were provided by Amy of BH Studios.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


**PUPDATE!! Venus has found her forever home! **

It's a bird, it's a plane!  It's Venus from Red Collar Rescue doing the blogging today.

Da na na na na na!!!  Da na na na na na!!  Da na na na na na!!  

It is me, super girl!

But you can call me Venus.  I am a super girl though.  Red Collar Rescue believes I have actual super powers.  You want to know why?  Because I was thrown in the garbage.  That's right when I was a tiny baby, like really small, someone threw me out.  My hero found me and took me to the vet and not only did I survive being treated like trash, I survived parvo!  See super powers!

Now I am using my super powers to shower my foster family with love!  My foster mom calls me pure uninhibited love.  I do love the love!

She also says I am well-mannered and almost perfectly potty trained!  I am working on walking on a leash, but with powers like mine, learning anything will be a breeze!

My favorite game is fetch and I'll bring you my toys so you can throw them for me.  I am very good at taking care of my toys too...I don't pull the stuffing out of them or anything!  I think it's  fun to run and play with other dogs or tiny humans (or any size human really) and then come rest in your lap or by your feet.

Outside is awesome!  I think all the squirrels and birds are interesting.  They live out there, you know?  Sometimes I'll just lie in the grass and look around.  There's a lot to see out there.

Wait!  I think I hear something.  I think I can you hear you calling Red Collar and asking to meet me!  Yay!  I want to meet you too.  Do you want to be my forever human?  I'd really like that!

If you would like to meet Super Girl, err, I mean Venus you can contact Red Collar Rescue via email at info@redcollar.org.

*All of the photos in this post are by the super Amy of BH Studios.  Yes, I did that on purpose.  I am super too.  :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Weekly Finds

I am creating lots of wish lists right now.  Even though we are pretty much finished with the big things in the house, I am still planning wonderful things.  Is that wrong?  Here are some things I am loving.

I want to improve the sitting area on the sun porch off our bedroom.  Right now there is a large red sofa, which is pretty, but it is a little big for the space.  I want something brighter and smaller.  Like a love seat. 


The sun porch is trimmed in yellow, so this loveseat might be a little much, but I do love this one.  If not a love seat for the sitting area, maybe a couple of chairs.


Right now the porch is a bonus space that we are completely under using.  I plan to change that.

In the living room, I have been hunting for the perfect window treatments.  I really like these curtains...definitely a possibility.


I am bored with our bedding and I want something with a pattern.  I still want to do a quilt set and I love this one...


and this one...


Either of those would be great with our new headboard.  I would also love to have matching bedside lamps.  I think this pineapple one is pretty cute.


While I was out in the internet world browsing, I saw this pillow.  It would be adorable on my sofa for the summer.


What are you loving right now?

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