Puppy Love

No, this isn’t a Valentines Day story about young people experiencing their first innocent crush! Anyone that knows me will not be surprised to see it is about my sweet, snuggly fur baby, Harrison!

Harrison loves the fire and will lay there until he is too hot to stand it

My husband and I have had 3 dogs since being married, and all have been great dogs in their own way. I loved all of them and was devastated when the first 2 had to go. This little guy we have now is so different and special. Our first 2 were pure bred (from ethical and top-notch breeders), but Harrison is a rescue. I truly believe he has a higher level of appreciation for his life, and desire to show us every day how happy he is.

Let me tell you a little about his story. He was found by the side of the road in a box with his siblings when they were tiny puppies, in rural Arkansas. As luck would have it, the lady that found them was already involved with a rescue organization, so did not hesitate to pick them up. Fast forward a couple months to us perusing the internet for a second dog, following the loss of our sweet lab, Delta. We spotted this adorable lab/boxer mix, named Dart at his foster home. After some discussion, and a phone conversation with his foster mom, we decided to adopt him sight-unseen! (Except for the photos). We lived in Ohio at the time, and the transport van bringing dogs from Arkansas to the Midwest and Northeast was coming the following week. We met the van late one night in a parking lot, feeling like we were part of some nefarious activity, and took him home. He arrived cold, scared, and having no idea what to do. Our older dog, Georgia, wanted no part of him and stood across the room barking at him nonstop!

Our sweet Georgia

Needless to say, they did become fast friends and kept each other, and us, entertained. They both shrugged off the move to North Carolina in 2015 as no big deal, settling in as if nothing had changed. We lost Georgia unexpectedly in 2016, leaving us and Harrison in a bit of a funk for awhile. However, life goes on, and Harrison quickly got back to being a silly, energetic, loving, cuddly, playful, happy boy. He loves us both dearly, but does tend to be a momma’s boy. He sleeps next to me, snuggles me on the couch, and follows me everywhere.

Harrison has also been a great comfort to me through some difficult times in my life over the past few years. There is nothing in the world like the unconditional, non-judgemental love and support you get from an animal. Just to feel their warmth and stroke their soft fur is instantly calming and brings a sense of peace.

Certainly pets are not for everyone, but if you have ever considered a pet, give it some serious thought. Rescue dogs have so much love to give, and love soaking it up as well.

You will no doubt see more mentions of sweet Harrison in the future!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

WDW Marathon Weekend

Hello! I’ve been a bit AWOL since the holidays, just a lot going on. I didn’t want to miss the chance however to tell you about the amazing weekend I just had. We just returned from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend that takes place every January-this was year 26. Full disclosure-neither my husband nor I ran the full marathon, but we did participate in other races. The weekend offers a 5K on Thursday, 10K Friday, half marathon Saturday, and full marathon on Sunday. If you are especially ambitious, you can also do the Goofy Challenge, running the half and full, or the Dopey Challenge, which is ALL FOUR RACES. Hubs ran the 10K on Friday, and I am so proud of him! He typically chooses other forms of exercise rather than running, but he trained very hard and ran the entire distance.

Approaching the finish line, in the red shirt!
Showing off his hardware!

Saturday I ran the half marathon, and it was by far my favorite race of all time. Coming around the corner onto Main Street USA and seeing the castle was such a great moment, I actually got a little choked up. Running is very emotional for me anyway, for a variety of reasons, and being able to participate in this event was so special. The motto of the race weekend is “Every Mile is Magical” and I could not agree more. All along the course, even when not in a theme park, there is music, photo ops, spectators, signs of encouragement, and so much more. The volunteers are amazing, tirelessly handing out water and cheering everyone on. And Disney does an amazing job of keeping everyone organized and in the right place at the right time. I was a little nervous about making my way by myself from the resort to the starting area at 4:00 AM, but had no reason to be-everything ran like clockwork and there were both cast members and volunteers to guide you every step getting into the right start corral.

The most amazing sight!
Each mile marker played music that corresponded with the movie represented!
Not my actual time! The time represents the gun time, and I was 3 corrals back from the start.
I was sad the experience was coming to an end, but my legs were happy to see the finish line!

If you love running and/or Disney, I highly recommend participating in an event. You can read all about them at https://www.rundisney.com. I think I could write a book about this experience, how wonderful and magical it was, and how much of an effect it had on me. This was truly an experience we will both remember forever, and we are already thinking about when we might be able to do it again! I’m happy to answer any questions about the event, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday Favorites-Random outfits

Happy Friday!  I never understand how the holiday season gets so busy.  I don’t have children or any family in the area, so shopping and commitments are minimal, but it still feels like I hardly have time to sit during the month of December.  I admire those of you that have kids and family activities on top of everything else, I don’t know how you manage all of it!

I had a few random outfits this week that I put together, and really ended up liking, so they are my Friday Favorites this week!  I tend to get stuck in a rut and pair the same items together all the time, or think I have to wear a certain item in a certain way.  I’m trying to be a bit more creative, which not only looks more stylish and interesting, but also makes you feel like you have a bigger wardrobe, when you learn how to mix and match things more effectively.

 

 

I wore this outfit to an event last weekend, it was casual but I still wanted to look stylish.  My first instinct would have been to wear a simple long sleeve t-shirt under this poncho, but I didn’t really have one that matched because the white is really an off-white.  So I had to get creative!  It’s pretty impossible to tell in the picture, but I wore an off-white cardigan underneath.  I ended up really liking how it looked, the cardigan has shiny buttons which gave it a much more interesting look than a t-shirt would have.  I like this poncho from Loft a lot, because it has actual sleeves rather than just a giant piece of fabric that goes over your head.  This one is from last year, I bought it on clearance over the summer.  But everything is on sale right now at Loft, and they have many ponchos to choose from.  The cardigan is a simple one from New York & Co.  They usually have every color of the rainbow and they are on sale a lot, I have a few in different colors, they are good to wear over dresses in the summer too if going somewhere that might be cool inside.

 

I love long cardigans, they are so comfortable and cozy in the winter.  This one from Eddie Bauer last year is actually a lighter weight, so I wore it on a day when it wasn’t too cold here.  I just threw it on over a simple tank top, put on a necklace, and was ready to go.  I wore these mules from DSW, they are comfortable and a versatile taupe color.  The shoes are actually the part of this outfit outside my comfort zone – normally I wear this sweater with the same pair of boots every time, but since it wasn’t cold, I decided to try the mules and really liked the look.  The jeans are one of my favorites, also from Loft.  Loft denim runs large, so take that into account when shopping.  (My helper is at it again!)

 

I’ve had this faux fur vest from Old Navy for years and years.  It seems like every couple years they become popular again.  I’ve always struggled with how to wear it, but found that I really liked it with this off-white-but-slightly-tan sweater dress from Abercrombie & Fitch.  I actually wore the vest as my coat that day, because it wasn’t too cold and this was enough for the short walk I have into work.  My office tends to be chilly, so it was also nice to have something I could put on without the bulk of a sweater or jacket.  I found a similar vest at Target, for a very reasonable price!

I purposely cut off my legs in this picture because I wasn’t crazy about the tights and boots I wore with this dress.  I’ll have to get creative with my lower half next time I wear this dress!

I would love to hear from you in the comments about outfits or looks you have discovered and how you are creative with styling items you already own!

Have a good weekend, thanks for visiting!

-Beth

 

Friday Favorites-Holiday Activities

We made it to another Friday! Every year the holiday season seems to pass so quickly. I like to try and slow down a bit and enjoy a few holiday events along the way. I’m sharing some of my favorites; you should be able to find similar events and activities in your community if you are looking for some Christmas cheer!

Downtown Greensboro Festival of Lights-we attended this in 2016 but were unable to go last year, so we are really looking forward to it. Greensboro has a vibrant downtown, which we enjoy visiting year round, but it is really special at Christmas time. They erect a huge tree in one of the parks, and folks gather to sing carols for 20 minutes or so, and then they light the tree. The main drag through downtown is closed to traffic, and there are carolers, hand warming stations, marshmallow roasting, children’s activities, and so much more. The atmosphere is so festive, and everyone is cheerful. Many of the local shops stay open late so you can just browse or do some holiday gift shopping. There are several restaurants and pubs along the way, so we’ll likely stop off for some dinner as well.

Tree shopping-another of our holiday traditions is shopping for the perfect Christmas 🎄. North Carolina has a huge Christmas tree industry, with many tree farms in the mountains, so we like to support an in-state farmer and buy a tree grown right here at home. We have tree shopped in all kinds of weather, from wearing t-shirts to last year when it was sleeting and we had to wear parkas! It is always a fun time though, and really starts to feel like Christmas when we cut the baling and see the tree in all its glory in our living room!

Christmas parties-we are usually fortunate enough to attend a couple of Christmas parties throughout the season. We might be invited to a neighbor’s home, have a work function, or something else. Last year we attended the Christmas party at our pool/tennis club, and really enjoyed it. (That’s the pics below) I am watching for an email with this year’s date, hoping they throw this bash again. We will be attending a work holiday function this weekend at a local country club; really looking forward to kicking back and relaxing a bit in an elegant setting.

And finally, who can resist a few quiet evenings sitting by the fire with hot cider or cocoa, relaxing, enjoying the tree and other decorations, and each other’s company. It’s important to slow down a little and enjoy the season. We rush around so much, shopping, cooking, attending events, wrapping, filling out cards, etc., so we really enjoy these quieter times. It helps for reflection as well, thinking back over the year, looking forward to whatever comes our way in the new year, and remembering the reason for the season, the birth of our Savior.

There are so many more events, activities, and things to do in our community, and yours, that I could go on all day! Even if you already have traditions you enjoy during the season, take a moment to look for something new. Maybe there’s a light display you haven’t been to, or a holiday themed 5k you’ve been wanting to sign up for. Whatever your preference, enjoy what your community has to offer, and enjoy the season!

Thanks for visiting, have a great weekend everyone!

-Beth

Flowing Dress

Happy Wednesday! Hope y’all are having a good week. We are gearing up for several holiday events this weekend, plus the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game. It will be a busy, but fun, weekend.

I wanted to share this loose, flowing dress. I bought it last year from Loft, so the exact one isn’t available, but here and here are a couple of similar styles. I love the bell sleeves and because this dress is loose, it will hide anything you might not want to show.

The dress is a dark (but not navy) blue, and has almost an eyelet-type detailing around the neckline. It is so comfortable, but so stylish at the same time.

I laughed at this picture, because I was trying to showcase how loose the dress is, but instead it ended up looking like I am wearing a tent! I’ve just got to get better at this photography thing. It’s harder at this time of year because it is dark all the time, so I can’t do photos outside and the lighting inside is so awful.

I paired it with these over-the-knee boots by Marc Fisher, in a taupe color. It took me awhile to warm up to this style, but once I finally bought them, I really liked them. It is hard to wear them with jeans because they just pull on with a small zipper on the side, so the hem wants to ride up inside the boots while pulling them on. But with dresses they are perfect.

I also had a helper with this picture! He didn’t understand why I wasn’t taking him for a walk, not that he is spoiled or anything!

This outfit is simple, but still fashionable, and appropriate for a variety of situations. I love dresses, even in the winter (with tights), because they are so simple to style and look put together. I used to hate them, and would only wear a dress to occasions that absolutely called for one. Now I can’t get enough of them and wear them every chance I get. So if you are anti-dress as I was, give them another chance and look around for a style that suits you. I’ll be showing some more of my favorites as the season goes on.

Enjoy your day and thanks for visiting!

-Beth