Saturday, August 30, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: Directions Not Included

Sorry that I messed up the schedule of the pet post from Friday to Saturday but I was required to have the giveaway yesterday.
And I'm super excited about today's blogger and her scruffy adorable crew.
I met Anna from Directions Not Included at Haven and I just instantly loved her. She is super awesome! There are some people you just click with and when I found out how many pets she had and then the added bonus of what they looked like!!!! I have said many times how much I adore scruffy dogs and her puppies can't get any more scruffier. They are total perfection in my eyes and I want them, the cats of course too ;)

Hi there Cuckoo 4 Design readers! I'm Anna from Directions Not Included. I am so excited to be here today to share with you my love for my crazy, furry crew. After following her blog for some time, I was so happy to meet Julia in person this summer at Haven. She is the sweetest person with the most amazing style. It is so funny when you get animal lovers together, even though we were at a blogging conference, it didn't take long for us to start exchanging animal stories. When Julia asked me to be part of the series, I was terrified I was the only crazy person with 5 animals, but then I remembered Gretchen from Boxy Colonial has me tied (and she has 4 kids!). We never intended to be a family of 5 pets, but these little buggers are too hard to resist. I honestly think once you jump to 2, it becomes way too easy to adopt more.

While I always grew up with pets, Dylan was the first dog I could call my own. My mom brought him home my senior year of college. Some neighbor of my grandmother's was going to take him to the shelter and told my mom he was a purebred Shih Tzu. He was a 3 lb, opossum-looking thing that was way too young to be away from him mom. I wasn't even sure he was a dog. He was intended to be my sister's, but the third day in the house, he was whimpering and crying while I was trying to sleep. I brought him in my room, put him on my bed to shut him up, and the rest is history.

This old man just turned 14 this June and is still the love of my life.

He really isn't a dog. He's a little old man in a furry body. Even though he is 14, he is thankfully, in amazing health except he can't hear us anymore and just a bit of arthritis in his back legs. He doesn't leave my side, ever.

When Ray and I moved in together, we kept our house a one dog home with Dylan for many years. Dylan was so attached to me, I didn't think he would ever want a sibling. One random Friday after I returned from a business trip, I somehow managed to convince Ray to head to the shelter to look at dogs. Now, at that point in my life I truly thought I could go and "just look". We left with a puppy. Maggie was this little, scruffy mess that we just not resist.

Maggie is our problem child. The one that has stopped us from adopting more, and sadly ended us being able to foster. She doesn't do well with kids or other pets (except the ones she lives with now).

 Now just like Dylan is MY dog, Maggie is without a doubt, my husband's. Every animal in our house comes straight for me when I get home except Maggie. I swear she gives me the stink eye. She would be in heaven if I left her alone with HER man. She really isn't vicious at all, I just caught her with that funny face.

In the months after bringing Maggie home, I kept looking at the shelter list to see if any other scruffy pups showed up that caught my interest. I was just looking, nothing was going to happen. Ha! Meet Lily. This 9 lb scuff ball is the queen of our home. She was about a year old when she joined us and was found as a stray. The little girl has spunk - she is the alpha and runs the pack. She doesn't seem to realize that the two cats outweigh her, it is the classic little dog syndrome.

 Lily looks all sweet and innocent, but she is equal parts mischievous as she is loveable. She is the most social and easy-going of the bunch so she frequents my job and other locations when possible.

 Best cuddler ever.

Once we had the three dogs, we were sure we were done. At the same time Dylan was a puppy, a neighborhood cat gave birth to two kittens. I have a thing for feral cats and worked on the kittens. Annie was the one who survived and ended up being an indoor-outdoor cat for us. I'm against indoor-outdoor cats, I just had no choice at that point since it wasn't my house. Annie and Dylan grew up together beating each other up and loving on each other all the time. When I moved on my own, Annie stayed with my parents since both my husband and I are actually very allergic to cats.. But Annie was still at my parent's house and I couldn't bear to leave her outside, so I brought her home.

To the tiny 800 sq ft house we had at the time. With two super allergic people and dogs that were not quite sure why there was a cat in our house. Ray and I started allergy shots that year and the dogs settled down soon enough. Dylan and Annie were thrilled to be living together again.

Annie is now a pirate cat after a tumor took her eye but she gets along just fine. Actually, the older she gets, the braver she gets. She has always been a timid cat but has really opened up as she ages.

Now if you've noticed a trend, every single one of this animals ended up in our home because of me. I brought Dylan to our relationship, initiated adopting Maggie and Lily, and then brought Annie into our home. Ray caught me totally by surprise when he told me he wanted to bring home Lemur. Lemur was a feral my best friend was fostering after domesticating. One day she took Lemur to an adoption event, Ray freaked out and demanded we bring her home.

 She made herself comfortable right away.

Lemur had her name and we kept it. Lemur is a cat-dog and the life of our house. She is always into something and messing with everything and everyone in this house. She brings so much life to the other animals through her shenanigans. And the way she judges us all with her Lemur-stare.

How do I possibly live with so many creatures and keep my home blog worthy? Cleaning. It helps that I'm OCD. Seriously. They definitely keep us on our toes. As you can see, we don't have any rules about the animals on the furniture. They have full access to the house and our furniture. I know it isn't for everyone but it works for us. What it has made me do is be conscious of the materials I use in our decor. The cats did destroy a sofa.

I haven't sacrificed style for them. It might just mean I have to work a bit harder to keep it that way. Those gorgeous dark hardwoods I insisted on getting installed even though all my pets have white hair? Yeah, well they just require to be vacuumed daily. Having cats also makes me more conscious of what fabrics I use. I learned the hard way that anything with a rough texture is game for cat nails! It is all worth it to have these love bugs making me smile every day. Even when the dogs look like zombies when we take pictures.

Thanks for featuring us Julia! I hope you all enjoyed my scruffy, motley crew! Anna

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To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

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They all make me giddy and I could gush about their appearance for a while. Believe me my hubby can't hear it anymore. I'm also a little jealous that her hubby is on board with all the furry craziness and love. 
Poor little pirate Annie! :(

So I would totally love it if you would visit Anna over on her blog by clicking HERE. Check out her before and after home pictures HERE.

Tschüß and enjoy the rest of your weekend.


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Signature Style Giveaway Time

Thanks to Carrie from Making Lemonade we are having an awesome giveaway today.

There will be one price per winner, 5 winners total, and I'm sure you want to know what goodies there are, right?

Well, Lacefield Designs is giving away two pairs of luxury pillows for the first two winners. I love their fabric designs! I actually had the pleasure of checking out their fabrics and pillows in person at Haven and I'm in love. I have a couple of favorites myself.

And there are also amazing curtain panels (horizontal striped curtains!!!!)  and gorgeous fabrics. Don't you agree? Which one is your favorite? The pinks like I love? Blues? So much to choose from.

• Third place winner gets a $100 Royal Design Studio shopping spree

• Fourth place winner gets a "How Does She Do It" bag by Stella & Dot with Jennifer Oxenford (Winner's choice of pattern)

• Fifth place winner gets these fabulous earrings by C. Wonder and curtesy of Carrie



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baden Baden and Heidelberg

Our traveling has come to an end now and I wanted to squeeze in one last travel post even though I usually don't post on Thursdays.

I haven't blogged about our visit to Heidelberg and Baden-Baden yet. Heidelberg is well known to Americans I'd say. We had been there with our son when he was smaller but my daughter hadn't been there and since we were visiting my aunt in Baden-Baden, we stopped in Heidelberg which isn't far away. And it's always worth a visit but the huge amount of tourists kill me every time. It somewhat takes away from the charm of everything.

The door with the famous "Witch's Bite" legend. My kids love that story.

Our little tourist taking it all in. I adore his interested mind, he just can't get enough which makes traveling with him so much more fun. I know I wasn't like that as a child:

The pharmacy museum with lots of old intact pharmacy cabinets:

I love this mansion that you can see from the castle walls:

At the Festspielhaus:


And the gorgeous view from the Yburg ruins:

This will be my last travel post for this year. I hope I didn't bore you too much with it ;)

In case you missed any of the new and old travel posts:


2013 posts:

2012 posts:
my brother's old place part 1 and part 2

And by the way I'm moving my Friday pet post to Saturday since I have something else going on tomorrow. May I say giveaway!!!

So stop back!



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