My Doggie Valentine

Since this little man is my beloved Valentine this year, I thought I’d share a little about how he came into my life.


In 2005 I lost my my last dog to cancer. It broke my heart and took me almost 3 years to work up the courage to get another dog. I knew I couldn’t get a beagle again, it was just too hard for me, and I wanted a running partner so I set my heart on a Lab. For my birthday in 2008 I told my Mom that I was finally ready to get a dog again and that in lieu of presents, I was accepting donations to the ‘Puppy Fund’. I also told her that I was 100% certain I wanted a Chocolate Lab Puppy.

At the time I was living in an apartment that charged about $1000 pet deposit plus another $35 each month as pet rent so I needed a little upfront money. Since I wasn’t expecting to actually get the dog for another few months, I didn’t tell anyone else about wanting a dog.

Less than a week later I received an email from a good friend asking me to pass along some info about a dog that needed a home. He had sent it to me as an after thought, not knowing that I wanted a dog, just knowing that I loved pictures of cute puppies.

This little one needed a home.

Baxter 03

So a week after deciding that I wanted to get a chocolate lab puppy, one showed up in my email inbox. It’s funny how things work out. Another family was originally going to take him, but the father lost his job so they decided against getting a dog. The mommy dog had accidently stepped on the puppy’s leg and broke it which is why he was in a cast. Within about an hour, I had agreed to get the puppy.

Baxter 06

At the end of May 2008 I brought Baxter home. He was 3.09 lbs with dagger nails and teeth. His eyes were an amazing blue, he had no hair on his belly and didn’t yet know how to pant. I honestly don’t know how old he was. I was told 8 weeks, and he was the runt, but he seemed more like 4-6 weeks old.

I took him to the pet store on the first night and the only collar that would fit him was a tiny pink kitten collar.



he looks so innocent...then he got up and pee'd on the carpet

He kissed up to my parents that first weekend, falling asleep in their arms and fitting into the palm of my dads hands.

Sleeping in Grandma's Arms

Yes, I really am that cute!

“Oh yeah, I’ve got them wrapped around my little bitty paws!”

Grandpa and the Pup

In the coming weeks he perked up and developed his incredibly playful personality. Even now, almost 4 years later, he still things he’s 3 months old and 10 lbs.

Innocent lil puppy...or so he seems

I'm not getting into any trouble...yet ;)

I'm gonna get that camera...

My frog is almost bigger than me!

Yum Yum...frog legs

Couch Potato…

Lazy night watching TV

I may have annoyed him with the camera more than once…

Kisses Mom!!

I love the spotlight!

I wish he would have stayed this size, I believe he was about 15 lbs here…


As he was getting bigger we made many trips to dog beach (it’s the thing I miss most about having moved inland)…

Doggie Beach Aug 02 09

Baxter at Dog Beach

Hitting the Waves at Dog Beach

…but he’ll live with dancing in the sprinklers until I can get him to the beach again.

He's in heaven when he finds sprinklers

He loves his walks, but I learned the hard way he wasn’t the greatest running partner. He likes to find big sticks and smack me in the back of the legs with them.

“Go FASTER Mom!” He’s such a drill sergeant.

Baxter and his walking stick

At the apartment, my couch was right next to my desk. He used to sit like this all the time.

Couch Potato

…and he’d sit like this if I wasn’t paying attention to him.


It took till about 3 years old for him to calm down and turn into ‘America’s Favorite’ dog breed.


Up until then, he often spent his time like this…

Is there any left?

He did all of that while I was taking a shower one day. He shredded mail, packages, trash, magazines, then found the empty food bag.

I cleaned up…he took a nap. He has such a tough life.

93/365: November 1, 2009

So that’s my little Valentine. In the past 3 1/2 years he’s gained about 90 lbs and while he’s calmed down, he still has the same playful personality he did at 3 lbs. He still thinks he can fit in my lap and that I should carry him down the stairs. Big baby.

In honor of Baxter, my puppy Valentine, I took the money I would normally spend on a Valentine gift and put together a doggie donation package for my local animal shelter. Animal shelters often need the basics to take care of the animals that come in on a daily basis. A lot of people will bring in food, treats, unused leashes/crates, cash donations. All of which are GREAT. However, I decided to fill a few other needs for them and put together a package of towels, rope toys, dish soap & laundry detergent. You can get a list of needed items directly from your local shelter.

Valentine Doggie Donation

It seems odd to include dish soap and detergent in a donation for animals, but we forget that the shelter often needs these things to keep food dishes and bedding clean. Hopefully it helps, ever if only a little bit, so that my local shelter can keep doing great things by taking care of these amazing animals.


Baxter and I hope everyone had a very Happy Valentine’s Day.

Much LOVE to you all!

Baxter 3 years old


DIY: Heart Art

Technically I did this project for Valentines Day, but it really doesn’t have to be only for February. I think it would look adorable in a little kids room year around, in fact, it’s an easy project that kids can do with you.

Heart Art

I started out with a piece of framed art from Christmas. I had hung this over the mantle for the holidays, but wanted to use the frame for something else throughout the year and this project seemed perfect.

Step 1:

Find an empty frame. A floating frame would look really beautiful with this type of art too, the hearts would appear to be floating on your wall.

Heart Art

Step 2:

I took the Christmas Art out and replaced it with a blank sheet of white computer paper. Nothing fancy here.

Heart Art

Step 3:

Collect the rest of your supplies.

  • Heart shaped scrapbook punches (I used two different sizes)
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scrapbooking or other colored paper

Heart Art

Step 4:

Cut out a bunch of hearts from the scrapbook paper. Begin laying them out to get an idea of the design before you start gluing them down.

Heart Art

Step 5:

Start Gluing to the frame and glass using rubber cement.

This project was all about texture. I folded some hearts in half to give them a 3D look, others I left flat. Most were glued directly to the glass, while some were glued to the frame for additional dimension. The reason I glued on top of the glass, instead of laying them under, was so that I could fold them. This was my alternative to using a more expensive shadowbox.

I used the rubber cement because after February I expect to remove the hearts and use the frame for something else. This is purely temporary for this month.

Heart Art

I wanted it to look like the hearts were sweeping across the frame. There was no magic in how I laid them out, it was all by eye and how the pieces was flowing.

Heart Art

Heart Art

Step 6:

The finished piece. Add some hangers, if necessary, and hang on the wall.

Heart Art

I really love how it turned out and there is a part of me that is considering leaving it up longer than February. It also sparked my art bug again and I can’t wait to dig into my paints soon. I’m thinking the paintings in the spare bedroom may have some mixed media incorporated, perhaps some hearts…

Heart Art

Heart Art

Heart Art

Total Project Cost Breakdown:

Frame/Mat/Paper/Glass (Already Owned) = $0

Scrapbook paper (Michael’s, clearance colors) = $.19 each (I used 4 colors so it cost $.76 and I have plenty left over)

Large Heart Punch (Michael’s) = $12 (on 40% off)

Small Heart Punch (Michael’s) = $2.50 (also 40% off)

Rubber Cement (Staples) = $2.50

Total Cost: $17.76

If you are a crafter then you likely have heart shaped punches already and the project would cost only a few dollars. For anyone that likes this idea, be sure to check out your local craft store right after Valentine’s day, they will likely put heart craft items on clearance and you could purchase some for next year.

I hope everyone is having an excellent Valentine’s Day…I’ll be back later today to show you a special Valentine gift I’ve been planning.

Heart Art

I’m Feeling Inspired – Romantic L.O.V.E.

Since the LOVE holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, I know many are celebrating this weekend.

This year my lucky valentine is this guy. My handsome little pup…so cute. I’ll take slobbery puppy kisses over chocolate any day! Although I suppose I’m extra lucky because I get my puppy kisses from a Chocolate lab. Cheesy? Yes, but this is a holiday whose mascot is a diapered baby shooting people with heart shaped arrows…so I think I’m allowed a little cheese.


Who’s your valentine?

Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


Pinned Image


For the ladies…if this is true, MARRY him.

Pinned Image


Pinned Image