Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Through The French Door"

If you enjoy publications that inspire your decorating, plus are beautiful - in and of - themselves, I have a tip for you.

Click on over and visit Debra Oliver at Common Ground.

Since my iPad blog tool won't do links right now I will post the full link below. Why should you visit Debra? She has some advance pictures and background from an upcoming book, Through The French Door by Carolyn Westbrook.

This is Carolyn's second book and she explains her philosophy and some advice to boot:

"There is much more to creating a home than going to a furniture store and randomly choosing a packaged room. As I always say, your home should tell the story of those who dwell there. Everyone has a story that tells of their own journey through life. Your home should speak out about where you have been, who is dear to you, and those special trinkets and trappings that you have picked up along the way. Many of you are facing a blank canvas. For some, that can seem a daunting task with all of the white walls and empty spaces that need to be filled. When faced with a large space, it is often a good idea to break it down into smaller little vignettes, that seem to warm up the room and make it more comfortable. A seating area of random French chairs, benches, and gorgeous stacked oil paintings and collections that layer a big wall space to make it breathtaking and interesting, all at the same time, and most importantly, telling your story." - Carolyn Westbrook from Through The French Door

Want the book now? Me too.

And the tip? Debra is giving away three copies! So click to her and see how you can get lucky and get this beautiful decorating book. Good luck. If you win it I would like to borrow it :))

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Collie Rescue Day

Last Saturday was my first meeting of Piedmont Collie Club. I am joining this club to connect with other Collie owners and breeders for fun and learning. They do lots of shows, rallies, herding and education.

The club met at Collie Rescue of the Carolinas in Winston Salem, NC for a grooming and bath day. Confused? No problem! Suffice it to say that we groomed rescued Collies on a perfectly gorgeous day.

Jean Smith, who runs the rescue, opened her house and yard to grooming tables. We brought lots of grooming tools. She also brought out her dog bath. Jean has cold AND hot water running to her hose outside. Very nice for bathing the dogs.

The most often asked question I got on Saturday was, "How many Collies do you have?"

I answered, "Three, one of each: blue, sable and white, and a tri."

There was a sable headed white puppy in rescue and one person said to me, "But you don't have a white."

My response, "My husband would keel over."

Her answer to that was, "With joy, right?"


Something new for me was learning the basics of grooming hocks. Hocks are just what you think, the area behind the leg. I cleaned ears and clipped a bunch of toenails.

There I am below grooming a Collie who had been clipped. That is a no-no. No worries though, he will be his pretty self soon. (Notice my very baggy clothes? More on that soon.)

The rescue also had two smooth Collies. Just as pretty as the rough (hairy) type if you ask me.

Jean's rescue members served up a hotdog lunch after the club meeting. I got to discuss more about living with and training Collies.

It was a really good day for a good cause. Collie Rescue is almost to 60 adoptions so far this year. Quite a record and tremendous good work on their part.

Now I just have to get my Collies groomed!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Job Titles For The Critters

I just happened to be browsing a blog the other day that listed all of the writers pets. I am sorry but I don't remember who it was. If is was you please let me know so I can attribute this idea to you.

Anyway, this blogger had four or five pets. In her sidebar she listed them in job titles like Web Master, Chief Photographer, and Social Coordinator. Cute, huh?

If you know me, you know I've never been above copying the best. I'll get them rounded up and take photos of all ten eventually. Then they can get their job titles.

Here is the first. Please meet my style consultant, Chi Chi Ponton. Named after a French girl I went to boarding school with, Chi Chi has lots of that "je ne sais quoi." She is gentle and sweet. Loves her Uncle Russell the Collie.

Chi Chi was born on the roof of one of the buildings LSH manages. As a kitten she survived five moves by her mom, including one down a tree from the roof. She also weathered thunderstorms and an earthquake! No wonder she is so laid back. I bottle-fed her for the last few weeks until she weaned. Her Collie uncles and aunt kept her clean. Now she is well adjusted and about to be one year old.

Next you will meet the social media coordinator and our zen master. Stayed tuned.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tips That Work

Do you love a good tip? I love to read tips but don't put them all to the test. I collect them, savor them and never get around to trying them out.

But others I have made a part of my life.

After boiling eggs and cooling down the water, don't toss it down the sink. Instead use the water for your plants. Trace calcium and phosphorous that plants need are in the water.

This one I've been doing for years. Only buy white linens. That way everything matches all the time. I only buy white sheets. When one piece, say a bottom sheet, wears out I only need to replace that not buy a whole new set of sheets. Same for bath linens and table linens.

- Clothes editing on the go. When I buy one shirt, I must edit two out of my closet. Same for pants, shoes and everything else. One in equals two out. Keeps you closets uncluttered and your wardrobe up to date.

Here is my latest. I just saw a great tip about using the Swiffer wet mop. And it works! I'm not a total "Frugal Franny" about money but this is going to save some pennies. I like the lightness and mobility of the Swiffer mop and the throw away feature of the cleaning pads. It is a true convenience.

So what is the tip? Here you go: Instead of buying box after box of Swiffer cleaning cloths for the little Swiffer mop, just use an old dish rag. Ok, not life changing but effective.

You still get the quick, lightweight use of the mop but save a few pennies by using and reusing an old rag and your favorite liquid floor cleaner. I use a damp dish cloth and some orange cleaner for the hardwoods and Clorox Cleanup for the white bath tile floors. Easy!

So speaking of tips, here are few sites I like to browse for time, money or fashion savers.

Real Simple Magazine

Zen Habits

Ask Anna

Life Hacker

What are your favorite sources for tips?