When Roary Got Sick and Almost Died


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last spring I mentioned in one of my badly written random posts that our golden retriever got sick, had to have emergency surgery, and almost died. A few concerned and lovely readers asked if I would ever share the full story. So here goes.....
It was the day of Cooper's first birthday party and we were in a mad scramble to get everything ready. It was the end of April and we had some freakish good weather. The door to our back deck was open for the most of the morning. Roary, who's favourite pastime is to be under your feet and in-the-way-at-all-times was oddly lying down in our side entry landing. It was a little strange that he even stayed there once guests had arrived. We didn't think much of it until we brought out the food.
If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting our dopey Golden, you would know that he is the BIGGEST foodie in the entire world. He loves and begs for food so much that he has developed a special breathing technique that seriously sounds like Darth Vader when food is near. The fact that Roary wasn't begging for food during the birthday party was making us a little bit worried. However, he is always getting into the garbage and eating strange things from the sidewalk so we just assumed that he had eaten something that didn't agree with him.
Fast forward a few hours. The party was a success, we were officially exhausted, and had decided to sit down on the deck for a breather. That's when we noticed that Roary was acting even more strange. He was pacing the outskirts of the yard and then would stop, lie down, and gag. This behaviour continued for a good hour. Eventually it started to get worse and he started trying to crawl underneath the deck. At that point we both knew that something was really, really wrong. I typed some of his symptoms into Google to try and figure out what it might be. One recommendation was to check his gums to see if they were pink or white. Alex checked and they were white - not good at all.
Since it was a Sunday evening at 9 pm, we had to contact an on-call emergency vet. After describing Roary's symptoms we were told that we should bring him in as soon as possible. Unfortunately the only animal hospital that was open was an over 30 minute drive away. We called Cooper's grandma to come and stay with him while we packed up our sick pup.
After an examination and blood work it was recommended that Roary have an x-ray of his stomach. By that time it was after midnight. Once the x-ray was finished she brought us into a dark room to show us the x-ray and share the horrible news. Roary had a life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilation and Volvulus. Basically his stomach was swollen, twisted, and cutting off circulation to his vital organs. She shared that the condition is almost always fatal if left untreated for too long and would require emergency surgery. She also shared that most pet owners choose not to put their dogs through the surgery - as the survival rate is not great and the cost of the surgery is very, very high.
She gave us three choices: put  Roary to sleep right away to end his suffering, drive to Toronto (4+ hours away) to have emergency surgery performed by a dog surgeon, or have the emergency surgery done right then and there by her (the on-call vet who had never performed the surgery before). 
We absolutely were not ready to say goodbye to our little stinker. We made the difficult decision to put trust the on-call vet and try surgery, knowing that at any time during the surgery and up until seven days afterward, his body could shut down from all of the trauma.
The veterinarian was absolutely amazing. She worked on Roary until the wee hours of the morning and called us at 3:45 a.m. to let us know that he had made it through. He made it through!!!!! 
After the surgery, however, he wasn't recovering well in the hospital. It was recommended that we take him home to a familiar place to see if he would eat or drink which was critical for his recovery.
Shortly after getting home, Alex had to take a drive for special dog food. Our poor Roary was laying on his side in the back breakfast room with his eyelids drooping inches from his eyes and his tongue hanging out onto the floor. I thought at that moment that he was going to leave us. Cooper and I laid down on the floor next to him for almost an hour - petting him gently and telling him that he was a good boy. By the time Alex got home it seemed like he had taken a turn for the better. And now, almost eight months later, he is officially back to his old self - moping around most of the time and getting into mischief the rest.

We love you so much Roary! Thanks for beating the odds so that we get to be your doggy parents for a little bit longer. You're the best.

Simple Christmas Gift Wrapping


Friday, December 27, 2013

I had these grand plans for how I wanted to wrap all of our Christmas gifts this year. My plans involved lots of brown Kraft paper (I'm addicted), handmade gift tags, white ink, snowflake stamps, letter stamps, painted wooden snowflakes, white pompoms, and bells.
Then I went to Michael's and almost dropped dead when I saw the price-tag of all the supplies I would need. Seriously peoples, it was $18 for a snowflake stamp and almost $20 for a white ink pad! Since I didn't have any coupons with me I went home empty handed and decided to make do with what I had at home. Wah wah waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
I did end up buying two small rolls of brown, polka dot Kraft paper at Target as well as a few packages of coloured Kraft-paper-like wrapping paper at Homesense. I tried to wrap each gift a little bit differently. I took pictures of a few of them.


Maybe if I save up my allowance I can get the snowflake stamps next year. ;)

Merry Christmas, Friends


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh yeah. Christmas is awesome.
Happy holidays to all of my cute blog friends. You are nice. And I hope you got lots of presents. ;) 

Clockwise from Top Left:
Coopaloops is in all kinds of love with his gift from Santa. It's the Hape All Season House - Unfurnished. We almost ordered it from Amazon but ended up finding it at Homesense a few weeks before Christmas - and I had a friends and family coupon for 30% off! (Currently there is a family of bubble guppies living in the house, LOL.)
I made a giant mess of our dining room table with craft supplies. I haven't even cleaned it up yet. It's a good thing we took a break from hosting Christmas dinner this year. It would have been a little awkward for people to eat on top of craft punches. Oh how I love craft punches. 
Coops helped me with all of my wrapping and decorating this year. He and I inspected the Christmas lights to find out why some were burnt out. It turns out that after about a half hour of fiddling around (and getting super frustrated) I realized that they were our old outdoor lights and not our new indoor lights. Oh. That would explain why they were covered in mud.
I found the cutest Christmas pajamas at The Superstore this year. Cooper passed out at Grandma and Grandpa's house after a few too many late nights and oh so much Christmas excitement.
We had our tree up and decorated a week before the big day. I'm telling you it was a Christmas miracle! We switched things up and got a Fraser Fir instead of a Scotch Pine. It's really pretty. I was mad at myself for letting the water go dry the other day (and subsequently killing the tree) but as we were watching a Christmas movie later that night we heard mysterious slurping noises. Busted! It turns out it was Lexie drinking all of the water from the tree stand. Silly dog.
I'm really happy with how my Christmas wrapping turned out this year. I left the tags blank in hopes that I would get around to stamping the names with my cute stamper-thingie. Didn't happen though. I ended up scribbling the names on (okay it was perfect teacher printing) with a pen on Christmas Eve. Oh well, at least it was my favourite Sharpie Pen. ;)
P.S. How was your Christmas?
P.P.S. What did Santa bring your toddler? Inquiring minds want to know..... ;)

Caramel Apple Dip & Our Tree is Up (Sort Of)


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This is the easiest recipe ever. It's great for those times when you sign up to bring something to a party, leave it to the last minute, and then don't have time to cook or bake anything. All you need is a few simple ingredients and you're good to go.
P.S. I tried this dip at a party a few years ago and kept meaning to make it ever since. I don't know why I waited so long since it's a) heavenly and b) healthy (apples are a fruit you know).
- One large tub of cream cheese (500 g)
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- Prepared caramel sauce
- Skor bits
- 6-8 Granny Smith apples
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
1. Bring cream cheese to room temperature. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread onto cute plate or tray.
2. Melt caramel sauce according to package directions and pour over the cream cheese.
3. Sprinkle Skor bits over top of the caramel.
4. Cut up apples into uniform wedges and arrange b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l-l-y on your cute plate.
5. Brush some lemon juice on the apples slices to keep them from turning brown.
In other news, we have our Christmas tree and it's (sort of) up!!! It looks great from one spot in the living room. However from all other angles it looks waaaaaay crooked. (Even with ten shims under two out of three stand legs.) The poor hubs has to empty the water out of the tree stand, lug the tree back outside, re-cut the stump, and try again. What a nice treat for him when he gets home from work today. Tee hee! Aren't real Christmas trees the best!?!?!?!

A Round-Up of Pretty, White Ornaments


Friday, December 13, 2013

Even though our Christmas tree isn't up yet (it's on the to-do list)(maybe we'll go tonight)(if we don't freeze to death)(it's -30 here tonight)(yikes) I can still picture how I'd like to decorate it this year. Simple and rustic with a little bit of white.
Here is a collection of white ornaments that I'm crushing on right now. I won't be getting any of these this year - but it's still fun to add them to my online shipping cart, hee hee.

Ceramic House Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
White Art Glass Ball Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Bone China Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Polar Bear Ornaments - Crate and Barrel
Which one is your favourite? Mine is the vintage metal cottage - obviously! ;)

Simple DIY Wooden Snowflake Garland


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Right now I'm sipping an afternoon coffee while my little monkey is snoozing away in his crib. And I'm doing a little happy dance because I finished a little Christmas craft! And it's cute! And I put it up before December 24th!
A few years ago I made a really simple bell garland. I still love it but alas it is buried in one of those giant blue Rubbermaid totes in the basement. Oh, the basement. 
So, I was inspired to make another one. My requirements were:
- it had to be natural looking
- it had to be inexpensive
- it had to be simple
- it had to be white, green, or brown
I started out with three packages of wooden snowflakes from Lowes. They came in packages of six for 3.99. Score! (Anything less than $5 is practically free in my opinion.)(Just kidding honey!)


While I knew that spray-painting the snowflakes would probably be the easiest, I opted to try using leftover wall paint and a paintbrush. Not the brightest idea I've ever had. It took about three hours to paint one snowflake and the paint was way too sloppy and gloppy to get into all of the little nooks and crannies.  

So, I unwillingly busted out the spray-paint. It reminded me of how much I hate that stuff. Even using a mask I got the worst headache ever and am pretty sure that I killed about half of my brain cells. The only good part about spray-painting was that it took like, two minutes to paint them all and only ten minutes to dry per side.

I really wanted the snowflakes to lay flat against my giant entryway mirror so I opted to string the twine through the centre of each snowflake rather than just hang them from the tiny pre-drilled holes at the top of each one. It worked like a charm. 

I only used six snowflakes for this little garland so I have quite a few left. I think I might use the extras to make little snowflake napkin rings. If I don't get around to that I can always just hang them on the tree! Note to self: go and get Christmas tree.
P.S. Cooper is up from his nap and says hi.
Sharing Here:
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
From Dreams to Reality @ The DIY Dreamer
Work It Wednesday @ The Happie Housie
Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking
Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z
Inspiration Gallery Link Party @ Design, Dining, and Diapers

The Cutest Metal Bucket You Ever Did See


Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Aunt has the cutest galvanized bucket on wheels.  She found it at an antique store in Muskoka - where everything is really pretty and really expensive. She bought it for her cottage - to hold water in the sauna. It is one cute tub and I've never been able to hide my insane jealousy. I pretty much whine and cry about how I wish it were mine every time I see it. Yes, I know, I often behave like a very small child.
Anywhoooo, you wanna know what my crazy awesome Aunt did?!? She found a similar bucket on Ebay and bought it for me as a present a few months ago when we almost bought a cottage.

{Oh wait, I didn't tell you the story about how we almost bought our very own cottage?!? Oh, but I will!}

I. Love. It. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with it yet - I'm thinking a planter for one of my indoor trees. (There will be no photo-shoots of that anytime soon. By accident I forgot to water my new Magnolia tree.)(Then I practically drowned it.)(It's looking pretty pitiful.)(Oopsie.)

Back to the cute bucket. It has subtle numbers etched all along the front (although they are hard to see in the photo). And wheels. Cute, cute, cute wheels.

P.S. Cooper loves pushing it around the house and throwing things inside. I found his little firefighter guy in there this morning. :)

I Bought Two Really Expensive Shelves By Accident


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This wasn't one of those times when I got home and told Alex that 20 items "accidentally" ended up in my cart during a trip to Homesense.

This online purchase was really and truly an accident.

I think I mentioned awhile back that I've been doing some family photo sessions as a hobby and earning a little bit of extra spending money. I've pretty much earned the title of the world's most indecisive person because I still haven't been able to choose or decide on a single thing to splurge on for the house.  
Instead, I like to pretend shop online for expensive things. For the last little while I've been eyeing these shelves from Pottery Barn:

I thought the shelves might look good on the last empty section of wall in our dining room.
Yesterday I got an email in my inbox that said FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING from Pottery Barn. Being from Canada I was a little bit wary and decided to investigate to see if the free shipping would apply to me as well.
I added the shelves to my cart (for fun). I entered my info. I entered the discount code. Then...... I hit the 'next' button. I guess I've been doing too much shopping at other online stores (like Gap Kids and Amazon) because I was certain that there would be a final page to review my order before committing.
Nope. When I hit 'next' I got quite the surprise. It said thank you for my order and my purchase would be shipped in 7-10 business days.
Well, At least I can't be indecisive about dining room shelves anymore.

P.S. It's a good thing that I selected the right size.

P.P.S. No free shipping.

P.P.P.S. I could've DIYed some shelves but I'm pretty much lazy now.

P.P.P.P.S. It was really fun explaining what I did to my husband.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Don't look at the price of those shelves. Ouch.

Three Small Projects in the Dining Room - Done and Done


Thursday, November 28, 2013

{Before we start, let's pretend the wall colour in the above photo doesn't look lilac. Lilac is b-a-d.}
So. I really and truly can't believe the title of this post. Three projects done?!?!? It's pretty much a miracle.
First, I finally got around to framing one of my Etsy prints. Second, I finally got around to buying some orchid bark so that I could repot my orchid in a cute, white pot. And third, I finally got around to painting and changing the hardware on that little cabinet thingie.
I'll share some more details and pictures of both the print and the cabinet in a later post. Little Coopster is due to wake up from his nap any minute now and he is very demanding about wanting to play with his farm animals as soon as he wakes up. ;)

A New (Not Quite Finished) Garden Shed


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our old garden shed was literally falling apart. The entire roof was leaking, the floor boards were completely rotten through, the door wouldn't shut, and I'm pretty sure it was full of you-know-what from a family of mice last winter.

When it came time to pack away our patio furniture a few weeks ago we had a difficult decision to make. Did we want to store the patio furniture in the rotten, leaky shed or did we want to store it all in the garage? FYI - our garage roof is also leaking like crazy. :S

On a whim, Alex decided to build a new shed. He and his dad worked out a rough sketch and materials list on a Friday night and were building the very next day. Because it was a bit of a rush job I didn't get to be as particular and bossy-like as usual. Although while they were working I did manage to stick my head out the window a few times and scream, "Make it cute! Make it cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!" I also had time to flash him a picture of a cute shed from Pinterest. He scoffed at the scalloped trim (boooooooooo) but decided to use the same basic design (yaaaaaaaaaay).

Image: Pinterest

Because they had such a small timeframe (one weekend) to get the majority of the work done, Alex ended up choosing stock shingles, stock windows, and a stock door. I have to say that his choices still ended up looking pretty cute.

I see some window boxes, a cute door colour, and a pretty garden in this shed's future. But for now, I'm just happy that we have a dry, mouse-free place to store all of our patio furniture and garden schtuff. :)

My First Ever Target Shopping Experience


Sunday, November 24, 2013

If you hadn't heard, Target stores have been opening up locations all across Canada. Awhile back I heard a rumour that they might be opening up a location in my city. Not gonna lie, I was pretty skeptical. There aren't a lot of good stores here ifyouknowwhatI'msaying.
I was skeptical until yesterday. Target opened and I went. I bought stuff and it was magical.
To be completely honest - the store was super busy and a lot of the stock was cleared out. But I did score some cute finds: a set of robot dishes and a little dinosaur backpack for the Coopster, a bed skirt for our newish king-sized bed, and the cutest polka dot kraft paper ever.
The store had some really nice house-ware type stuff. I am really excited to go back minus the cranky toddler trying to climb out of my shopping cart.
I know it's kind of awful to admit but I really, really, really, really, really like shopping. :)

Three Things That I Never Followed Up On


Saturday, November 23, 2013

1. Old, Chippy Corbels


Oh, yes. I still have those beautiful, chippy corbels. Except now they are beautiful, chippy, and extremely dusty from sitting on top of my dining room hutch for months. Or years. Yup, I think it's been years now. My plan was, and still is, to hang them in the doorway that leads from the living room into the sunroom. There are three reasons why I haven't done this yet: 
a) Some friends and family have hinted that they think corbels in the doorway will look.... how did they put it.... dumb. Okay, so my feelings might have been a little hurt.
b) My dearest husband doesn't want to screw into the nice, solid, freshly painted door trim.
c) I read a recent blog post over at The Lettered Cottage where they stripped a pair of old, chippy corbels. And they looked real good
So, that's that. Dusty corbels because I still can't decide what to do.

P.S. You can see a picture of how the corbels would sort of look here. Warning: there is a very unflattering picture of me without any makeup on. Shudder.
2. Master Bedroom Light Fixture

A very long time ago we started doing some fix-ups in our Master Bedroom. We painted, installed crown molding, refinished the floors, added some curtains and curtain rods, and purchased a new light fixture. We ended up choosing an inexpensive schoolhouse-type light fixture from Lowes. After we installed it we decided that it was a little on the flimsy side and a little on the small side.
And then we left it.
A few weeks ago my dearest husband decided to make the bed. Obviously he doesn't do it very often because somehow he managed to smash the shade into a billion little pieces all over our bed. Awesome. I love cuddling with glass shards after a long, hard day.
So. We had a small, flimsy light. Now we have no light.

P.S. You can see the light fixture installed in our totally unfinished bedroom here.

3. Ikea Duvet Cover

A few months ago I bought a giant, king-sized duvet for our bed. (This is after my dearest husband and I had been fighting over the small queen-sized duvet for months.) I bought a Ralph Lauren duvet from Homesense thinking it was the best thing of life. Except I didn't realize at the time that it had little squares sewn all over it - making big poofy puffs in the middle of each square. Together with the new duvet cover over it - our bed looks like a giant, lumpy mess.
I am annoyed that I bought a lumpy duvet. I am annoyed that it looks extra lumpy inside it's awesome new cover. I am pretty much just annoyed.
In other news:
  • This post might be the first of a series. There are just so many things that I've never followed through on. Yay, me.
  • I have two little Christmas craft ideas in the works. I'm excited. I'm a nerd.
  • It snowed last night. When Cooper looked out the window in the morning he said, "Woah, woah, woooooah" in his deep drill-sergeant voice. It was adorable.

Just Checking In


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oh hi. I'm just checking in to say that I officially suck at being efficient, organized, on-time, or anything else that sounds grown-uppity.
Our patio cushions are strewn all over the decks, soggy and full of leaves. My child has only one pair of shoes that fit him right now. I'm afraid to look in the back of the fridge because I'm pretty sure there is a container of leftovers from many, many weeks ago. I currently have two pairs of work pants that fit which I have been alternating since school started in September - a giant pair of dark, wide-leg jeans that I pretend look dressy and a pair of skinny black khakis that have a super saggy butt. I'm supposed to have three photo sessions edited and ready for viewing by Saturday. I'm late submitting this month's ideabook for Houzz.com. We still haven't given my mom, dad, or brother their birthday presents (their birthdays were over a month ago). And I have kindergarten progress reports looming on the horizon.
I am totally not overwhelmed.
P.S. I did have time to bake cupcakes for our class party tomorrow.
P.S.S. I also had time to taste test one of them.
P.S.S.S. It was a boxed cake mix. And I still liked it.
P.S.S.S.S. Here is a picture of Cooper. He likes when we play cars together in the afternoon.

Five Fall Decorating Inspiration Pictures


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I really want to do some fall decorating. And drink a pumpkin spice latte. And knit some cozy slippers. And curl up with a good book that isn't late to be returned to the library.
Here are a few of my fall inspiration pictures. Pretty right?

Image: BHG
Image: French Larkspur

Image: Dreamy Whites
Image: Craftberry Bush

Image: Dear Lillie

How are you decorating for fall this year? Going all out or keeping it simple?

P.S. I still have a ceramic bunny on my dining room hutch from Easter. Shhh, don't tell anyone. ;)

Our Ikea Haul


Monday, September 16, 2013

While out of town for a wedding this past summer we ended up stopping at Ikea on our drive home. Since we had our larger vehicle with us, and since we hadn't made any other purchases on the trip, we decided to bite the bullet and get a few items that we had talked about possibly getting forever and ever.

Ikea - Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser - White

We chose the white, 8-drawer, Hemnes dresser for our master bedroom to replace an old, painted mid-century modern dresser that family had loaned us when we moved in. While the old dresser was solid and provided much-needed storage, we always knew that it was a temporary solution. Plus, I thought the Hemnes dresser would look great alongside the two tiny bedside tables I found at Homesense last year.
Ikea - Hemnes Shoe Cabinet with Two Compartments - White

Now that we have a king-sized bed instead of a queen, there just isn't room for another dresser in our bedroom. We decided to use the white, 2-drawer Hemnes shoe cabinet for........socks! Trust me when I tell you that Alex's sock collection is ridiculously out of control. He keeps buying new socks and never gets rid of any old ones! It's totally not one of my pet peeves at all. ;) The cabinet fits perfectly on the little wall beside our two closets that yes, are still missing doors.
Ikea - Expedit Shelving Unit - White

After deciding to turn our front sunroom into a temporary play space for Cooper, I brought down the bookcase from his room for toy storage. After a few weeks I realized that it just wasn't working. I had no place to store toys or books in his bedroom anymore! So, we moved the bookcase back up to his room and we are now using the white Expedit bookcase for toys in the sunroom.
Ikea - Ribba Frame - White

I thought it was about time I framed my cute Etsy print from Enrouge. So I bought the white Ribba frame as motivation to get 'er done.
Ofelia Vass Duvet Cover Set - Ikea

I already told you the most boring story ever about choosing a duvet cover. If you missed it, you can find that very interesting and enlightening (not!) story here.
Ikea - Variera Pot Lid Organizer - Stainless Steel

By the time we got through the showrooms our little guy was getting antsy so we didn't have much of a chance to look through all the fun little doodads and thingamajigs on the main floor. We did, however, make it a priority to get a little rack for our pot lids. Best $10 spent e-v-e-r. My life makes sense all of a sudden now that I've tamed those unruly pot lids.
Ikea - Heat Trivet - Cork

These little trivet-things are the best. We already had some but snatched up another set because we use them all the time!
Ikea - Gosig Mus - Soft Toy
Our little super shopper deserved a little treat after spending a good four hours in Ikea. He pulled one brown and one white mouse out of a bin and didn't let go of them until we got home. They are adorable, and at 99 cents each, the perfect price. ;)
P.S. I am beyond surprised that we actually committed to buying so many things all at once. We're those shoppers who fill our cart to overflowing at Costco and then put half of the items back before heading to the check-out. ;)
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