Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gift Guide: Finds Under $30

     I was going to wait until December to post this, but figured why not go ahead and share my top 10 gift ideas that are all under $30! I have a giant family (now that my mom has remarried)..meaning many nieces, nephew, step-sisters, step-brother and a ton of other special people I am trying to find gifts for this year. When you have a big family (or even a small one) it is pretty crucial sticking to great deals and unique finds that others will love you for! I have made a collage of things I am adding to my shopping cart over the holidays..and hope some of these you might like to give as well! Below are the links on where to find these fun items! Enjoy!

1. Gold Mugs
2. Children's Cooking Set
3. Infinity Scarf
4. Soy Candle
5. Essie Nail Polish
6. Cookbook
7. Mittens
8. Coffee Assortment
9. Necklace
10. Leopard Accessory Case

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cyber Monday: Who is ready!?

 Hope to find at least half of this for great deals (online) at my favorite shops. I really am not in the mood for annoying people (The ones that have to push you over to get some dorky picture frame or their life is over kind of people) this year. Therefore, I will be sticking to my game plan and shopping hardcore online. I would like to find some Christmas gifts too..so wish me luck!! Hope you are getting excited about holiday shopping like me!  

1. Poncho/cape
2. Black satchel
3. Taupe watch
4. Home goods--including new coffee mugs!
5. Boots
6. Destroyed denim boyfriend jeans
7. Over-sized sweater--The Loft/Zara
8. Pendant bracelets
9. Chunky candles--(Like the one above from Restoration Hardware)
10. Ballet flats
11. New reading material
12. Scarves/throw --(Like the one above from Serena & Lilly)


Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

     As of about 3 years ago, it has been my job (in our house) to make the sweet potato casserole. I must have made it delicious the first time because it has become less of a question and more of a command when it comes to telling me to have it made. I am fine with this because I have become quite the inquisitive (amateur) chef lately, and love finding ways to spruce up old recipes each time.

     This year I am adding coconut shreds, crushed cornflakes, a pinch of nutmeg and chopped pecans. I typically stick to marshmallows and cinnamon for the topping but why not add a few other delectable ingredients in the equation? I stumbled upon this recipe from a blog called "Gonna Want Seconds," and the writer (Kathleen) has such great spruced up recipes! This will surely not be the last one, of hers, I try!

     She says "It’s very rich and good and sweet.  If you don’t like a sweetened sweet potato casserole this is not the one for you.  If you’re used to the standard recipe with  marshmallows melted on top, oh baby, you won’t believe what an upgrade this recipe is. Honestly, I can’t tell you how seriously delicious this sweet potato casserole is!!!!"

SO here is the recipe and steps!


  • Sweet Potatoes:
  • 4 Pounds - Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed
  • 2 Cups - Sugar
  • 4 - Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup - Butter, Melted
  • 1 Cup - Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon - Dried Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon - Dried Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups - Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Cup - Shredded Coconut
  • Topping:
  • 1 1/2 Cups - Cornflakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 Cup - Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 Cup - Pecans, Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup - Butter, Melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F .  Butter or spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and drain well and cool.
  3. Place cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl.  Mash sweet potatoes using a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, 1/2 cup butter, evaporated milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, marshmallows and coconut.
  4. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepare pan and place in preheated oven.
  5. Meanwhile, make topping. In a small bowl, mix the crushed cornflakes, brown sugar, pecans and remaining 1/2 cup butter. Set aside.
  6. Bake 70-90 minutes or until casserole is set in the middle.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  8. Spread the topping over the baked casserole and return to oven for 10 minutes.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Style: Chic, Simple.. Holiday Look

     Needing some inspiration for Thanksgiving wear? If you are like me, you love getting a little festive for grubbing out in front of all your friends, relatives and family (you know it is true). I really love warm, darker colors for the holidays and usually dress the whole look up with timeless jewelry pieces or statement shoes or a beautiful combo. Right now I am currently loving flat clutches, suede booties, leather jackets and dark red pops of color here and there. Jcrew and Madewell usually satisfy these cravings, however this year I am trying to branch out a little more and have been finding great deals on Hautelook and Ideeli. Both sites have killer steals and feature designer labels.

    I have a feeling this year will be somewhat like last, in that Cyber Monday will dominate black Friday which is why I am getting all my online ideas ready and written down so I can wake up and snag some online steals. I never pay full price for anything I own. I always have been the super bargain (wait till it goes on sale in two weeks) kind of gal..so it is crucial I start preparing for all of this holiday shopping.

    I finally found a few pieces paired together that I really think give a good idea of what I am talking about as far as "sultry style" is concerned. SO how about this for a holiday look. You can go for a safe and comfortable look..in a chunky off-the-shoulder sweater and heavy weight leather pants (ones pictured below are from Topshop). Booties pictured below are H&M (a personal favorite) but can be found at Belk or DSW. I love the deep red accents to pair with! I would switch up the jewelry and opt for a more classic look (simple diamonds/pearls) instead of the chunky gold hardware but to each their own!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Info: 20 Things To Do In Your 20's

  I came across this article via my friend Stephanie Johnson, and some of it really sounds just about right when you are 20 something. I have already done a few like get a pet, move, and have many roommates (who for the most part I have LOVED). I have decided it actually is better to not royally piss off your parents but instead listen to (what seems like dumb advice), and put it into practice because sure enough it always ends up being the right thing. SO take this all with a grain of salt but maybe listen to some of this because the truth is, we all have to start growing up at some point and making decisions for ourselves. Happy Wednesday!

20 Things To Do In Your 20s

Nov. 19, 2013
Love this hairstyle too!

1. Have a roommate you love. There is nothing greater than finding that random roommate that ends up being your best friend, confidant, and occasional drinking buddy. It may take time, or it may happen instantly, but it is one of those relationships that will last a lifetime.

2. Have a roommate you hate. There is nothing worse than living with someone you can’t stand. You’ll find yourself spending a lot of extra time at work, or hiding out in your room watching Netflix. Maybe your roommate likes the apartment hot and you like it cold, maybe s/he is always having loud sex with their significant other. Whatever the reason, there are so many lessons to learn in having a bad roommate, that it is an experience everyone should have.

3. Fall head over heels for someone who treats you like dirt. Everyone needs to experience this at least once, and no, that boyfriend you had in college doesn’t count. Dating in your 20s is different, there are different reasons and motives behind it, and falling for someone in your 20s is completely different than in college. So fall and fall hard and see what it is like to have them rip your heart out and crush it under their stupid clunky boots.

4. Let go of someone you’ve been holding onto. There is no time like the present and all of us have had that one person, whether we are holding out hope or they are holding out hope for us, if it hasn’t happened yet, it isn’t going to happen. Don’t be afraid to let go and start exploring other options. It’s amazing what will happen when you finally open your eyes to other opportunities.

5. Have one night you’ll never forget and that you can’t remember. Let’s be honest, drinking in your 20s is completely different than drinking in your teens. The drinks are more expensive, the hangovers are worse, and the Vine videos are forever, but you need to do it one more time before things get serious and you have to bribe yourself with cheesecake just to leave the house after 6.

6. Make a life changing mistake. It’s your 20s. Screw up. Make that mistake that will change your life forever and make you rethink everything. If you don’t do it now, you are always going to wonder “what if.”

7. Royally piss off your parents. You are an adult so don’t be afraid to be brutally honest. I’m not saying intentionally hurt them, they are your parents and they love you, but now is the time to be honest about what you want and where you want to go, no matter what they may think or say otherwise.

8. Date. I am so tired of people meeting someone and being in a relationship with them a week later, engaged six months later, married a year later, and divorced three years later. What is the rush? Date around, figure out what you like and don’t like, learn things about yourself, and get a couple free meals out of it.

9. Go out to dinner by yourself. Yes I know, the thought is petrifying, but just do it. Treat yourself to a dinner and a good book and have the confidence to be by yourself for once.

10. Take a huge risk. It’s your 20s. Enough said.

11. Move. I know that town you grew up in is safe and convenient. You know all the streets. You know where everything is. You’ve never gotten lost there and you know you will always be able to call it home. Now that you have found that place to call home, move away from there. Go someplace you’ve secretly always wanted to move to, explore new things, meet new people, get insanely lost, spend all your money on a crappy one-bedroom apartment where the bathroom is also the kitchen, and end up appreciating that place you call home even more.

12. Get a pet. When you have the time and the money to take care of one, there is nothing greater than coming home to little Baxter.

13. Donate your college clothes. Yes I know that those Abercrombie jeans make your butt look great, but the holes in them also make you look 15. Donate those college clothes you are hanging on to and treat yourself to some grown-up clothing. P.S. Hot Topic doesn’t count.

14. Figure yourself out. This is the time to figure out who you are, what you want, and what your life goals are. From this point forward, it is going to be job, family, and sleep. This is the time for you to be selfish, so be selfish.

15. Exercise. Just because you no longer have that awesome on-campus gym to go workout in doesn’t give you any excuse for not strapping on some tennis shoes and going for a quick jog around the block.

16. Pig out on junk food. This is the last time you will be able to do this without feeling like crap for three days afterward.

17. Watch the news. Get caught up on some world events and realize that there is more out there besides your job and Baxter.

18. Keep your resume updated. Just do it.

19. Work your ass off. Now is also the time when you have the most energy to work hard, impress the boss and earn that promotion. Stay an extra hour at work or get there early in the morning. It’ll pay off in the end.

20. Enjoy it. 

( http://thoughtcatalog.com/emily-anne/2013/11/20-things-to-do-in-your-20s/)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

DIY: Tin Can Planters

     A friend of mine had this hung.. and I fell in love with it. During the Winter season is is so hard keeping fresh plants alive and having that nature atmosphere that I personally love. This allows you to plant small herbs or flowers in your house or porch to have some lush in your life through the cold season ahead.

     I, for one, do not have the time and money to send on huge planters for my porch or expensive winter plants that are hard to keep up with. I found that this DIY project is really very simple, requires few materials and is super easy with a power drill!


1. Tin can planters..(or even mason jars if you have a wrope or latch to hold ear jar).

2. Power drill & nails..(hammers typically are hard to use for this so if you know someone who has a drill ask to borrow which is what I do!)

3. Wood slab..(you can find this at Home Depot or probably have a piece of wood laying around somewhere in storage or a garage that could be used).

4. Metal wire or thick hemp rope..(wire tends to give a more rustic look which I love..and you can find it at any local craft store or hardware store).

5. Soil and plating supplies..(this does not have to be done right away and should be given thought as to what you want to plant!)


1. First stain or paint the wood to whatever color you would like. Some people even choose to leave the wood as is for a shabby chic look.

2. Take a pencil and mark where each planter should go on the wood. The planters will be on their side so you just need to make sure spacing is even and that each planter will be level.

3. Using a power drill (or hammer) nail each tin can to the wood slab and then hold it up so make sure they are even and secure. (The soil and planting supplies is not to heavy so as long as each tin is pretty secure you are good to go).

4. Screw to nails to each end of the wood slab on the backside. This will be used for the metal wire.

5. Cut about 2 feet of metal wire (can be done with scissors). Tie each end firmly to each nail.

6. Now you are ready to hang it up! If you re hanging it on brick you need the power drill again. If you are hanging it inside then you just hang it up as if your hanging a heavy picture or mirror. (Make sure it is not hung to dry wall).

     There are many various ways of doing DIY hanging planters, so feel free to get more tips and other ideas like this one by searching Etsy and other handcrafted sites. With the holidays around the corner, this is sure to make your house warm and inviting. Who doesn't love a fresh nature feel inside while it gets chilly outside!? Enjoy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

DIY: Pinup Wreath

     SO, the Holidays are almost here and I am starting to get DIY fever for some xmas inspired decor around the house. In the past, I have gone way overboard buying everything red and green.. and going crazy around the house. My big DIY project a year ago was getting various sized ornaments and hanging them from the ceiling using clear fish wire. This turned out super cute and gave the room pops of color. This year, however, I have been inspired to create my own xmas wreath.

     If you know me, you know I have a love and passion for photography, and thought why not make a wreath that allows me to display some of my favorite Christmas cards, greetings, photos and more. After browsing online at some different DIY wreaths that embody exactly what my vision was, I stumbled upon a "Pinup Wreath." This wreath is so cute and different..you will be sure to surprise your house guests with this great look!

Love this idea!

Materials Needed:
  • Wood glue
  • Miniature wooden clothespins
  • Large embroidery hoop
  • Ribbon
  • Holiday cards 
  1. Using wood glue, affix miniature wooden clothespins to a large (about 14-inch-diameter) embroidery hoop.
  2. Alternate clothespins to point outward and inward, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart.
  3. Suspend from a ribbon, and clip your cards in place as you receive them.

     This really is such a simple idea, and great way to show off all your family and friends via wreath! If you want to save on all these materials I recommend shopping at your local Hobby Lobby. They provide a 40% off coupon on their website that never expires, as well, on one purchase. If you are like me then I know you are getting pumped about decorating for the Holidays!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Neck Candy: The Gold Pendant

     Well since my last two posts were a bit serious (which is life) I thought I would share another style I am really wanting to embrace for the Holiday seasons. I have been on a huge search for all things gold..well I take that back..I have always loved gold toned pieces. I know it is just now getting all popular, but the funny thing is I have loved gold for years and usually choose gold pieces of furniture and elements over silver or brass. My good friends used to always say that my style was somewhat gaudy but man it seems my gold gaudy style is now one of the most trendy..(they should have listened to me!) haha...but I have always loved the richness and warmth gold gives a space and a look.

    After searching for non-overly chunky gold statement necklaces..I stumbled upon a pendant styled one that I simply couldn't resist. It has a very antique look about it and yes it is a locket I guess you could say even though I will not be one of those people that puts a picture of my significant other to glance at from time to time..not my thing. It also is on a very super thin gold chain which makes it look less cheap in my mind..and lets face it..it was not too cheap ($29.99 from Julies Boutique).

     I will say I think it is going to be a versatile piece of jewelry for me. I have worn it already for a night out with friends, celebrating birthdays, and it was a hit!

My girls and my pendant necklace all making a statement!

     Jami (pictured above to the left) also is such an incredible jewelry finder..She probably just ordered 10 gorgeous necklaces on Ebay and payed roughly 15 bucks for the bundle. I am trying to get better (like her) in finding better deals on jewelry pieces. I always say, however, if your in a rush and need a great statement piece for a special occasion check Handpicked, Julies Boutique and the Jewel Box. All three have various pieces that will cater to any event or function! :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

October 24th: A day I will never forget.

     So like I said in my intro, we are bound to face many hardships and triumphs as we go through these 20 something years of our lives. Just when you think things are going strong and life is bliss something, of course, has to come and unshuffle things a bit. I think this is God's way of making us stronger and more like Him by overcoming things and learning from them.

     October 24th started out great. I woke up and had my typical coffee/latte combo..turned on the news..let Stormi and Portia out to play in the backyard and began my day. Corey's dad called and mentioned Kailea (Corey's sister) needed a costume sewed and himmed. I was excited to get back into sewing and told him to bring it on over whenever. He came by about an hour after calling, with the costume, and we played with the pups and chatted for a bit before he headed out. After he left, I decided to get started on some laundry before sewing the day away.

     All morning the traffic outside had been crazy with cars honking left and right so as I was gathering laundry in my room I didn't think much of it as it got louder. When I got to the laundry room and was loading clothes I heard more honking than before and checked out the window to see what all the commotion was about. To my surprise, I saw Stormi running around in the road and neighbor's yards and Portia jumping behind her. I ran out the back door and saw Portia in the neighbor's bushes jumping around and Stormi quickly began heading my way..I screamed for them both and got hold of Stormi while Portia was still across the road in the neighbor's yard. I threw Stormi in the house (without looking really) and ran right back out to get a hold of Portia.

   However, when I turned from the house and looked out.. cars were completely stopped and Portia was lying their in the middle of the road. I ran as fast as I could to her and she was just staring at me with a huge hole above her left eyeball and many bloody cuts and scrapes. I screamed bloody murder and a woman got out of her car to guide me back to the house. She ran back to her car and I jumped in mine without turning anything off or locking any doors. All that mattered was that I got this precious baby of mine to help while trying to calm myself down and drive carefully. We have a Petsmart about a block over and I couldn't think of any nearby hospitals.. so I drove over to Petsmart with Portia in my lap (balling my eyes out). I really do not know how I made it there without getting in a wreck. The good Lord was with me the entire way with his arms around me leading my hands as I was steering. I pulled up to the front of the store, put my hazards on and just ran in screaming for help. Everyone was in shock (as I would have been) and luckily a random stranger took me under her wing and said "Come with me I will drive you right now to Archdale Animal Hospital down the road. Do not worry everything will be okay..everything will be okay."

    This lady was an angel from Heaven and I will never forget her or her unconditonal love that day. When we got to the hospital we took Portia and layed her on the cold operating table and they took me into a waiting area. I was covered in blood and poop from her bowels giving up and felt as if my world had just collapsed. I called Corey and he was currently helping the mayor candidate, Patrick Cannon (who is now Charlotte's new Mayor) in his campaign during the incident. Cannon told Corey to drop everything, leave, and come to me immediately which was so nice and undestanding of him. Corey's dad hadn't made it far home.. so he came over to the hospital as well to be with us.

While I was waiting for them, the kind lady sat and prayed with me over and over until they arrived. I remember just thanking her over and over for staying with me and taking me there. The doctor came in after a forever amount of time (it seemed) and said that Portia was stable but slowly becoming unresponsive and had brain swelling. He suggested we get her to a more intensive care hospital that was about 10 minutes away. As he was telling me this all I could hear was her moaning and crying a cry I have never heard in my entire life. She was in utter pain and I felt so helpless. Once they got her pretty sedated.. they wrapped her up, put her in my arms, and we drove to the suggested hospital.

     The doctors there were helpful and said the diagnosis was guarded and she really had probably a 50/50 chance to make it. They said her eyes were not responding like they should and they felt she should be sent to CVS in Matthews where the doctors specialized in neurology. I wanted to do whatever was recommended and they felt this would be her best option and CVS would know even more so what to do about her brain swelling.

    So like before.. they sedated her, wrapped her up (needles and all) and put her in my lap for the car ride. This car ride was about 30 minutes and probably one of the most emotional. I held this precious puppy that I had held so many times before. From holding her on my chest and giving her goat milk n bottles to playing and routine bath times we had together. This time was different though. This time she was sound asleep and hurting more than she probably knew existed. I held her completely still and was so scared to move an inch so her brain swelling would not get worse. I prayed over her body and rubbed her fur and told her how much I loved her and needed her to be strong.

     When we got there, I handed her off to a nurse and after about 10 minutes we were taken into a patient room. The doctor was so sweet and she had such compassion in her eyes that I knew we had made a good decision in coming. She said they were doing everything they could in keeping Portia stable. She told me Portia had a fighting chance and luckily the brain swelling had not progressed but remained the same. They gave her fluid IVs like they had done at the hospital before and told me they were going to keep her head at a certain degree angle to help reduce swelling. The doctor told me this would be a process no matter what the outcome may be. She said Portia would need therapy and thought she may have fratures in her hips which would require surgery. Therefore, Portia would be staying for a week at CVS and the cost would be very expensive. I told her quickly that money didnt matter and I just wanted the absolute best for my baby.

     After giving us more information on what was to come she told us to head on home and that she would be calling in about 3 hours to give us insight to her blood tests and x-ray results. We drove home crying that evening, but trying to remain positive in hopes that she was going to pull through.

     The doctor called on the dot 3 hours later and said she first off had not gotten much better but nothing had gone downhill. She said her blood work was not to bad but had elevated levels of potassium. She said Portia did have fractures in her hips and would for sure need surgery and therapy. She told us the good news was that her chest looked fine which was a huge relief..however..the bad news was that her heart rate had been fluctuating. She informed they planned on giving small doses of medicine to regulate it and it should become more stable. She told us in the morning, Portia would be sent to the neurology department for further evaluation and that she would remain by her side all through the night. She said we would be called first thing if anything were to get worse and were told to get some sleep. I kept worrying and prayed without end that God would keep her alive and give her a second chance that night.

     I stayed over at Corey's apartment..and we prayed and hoped to not get any phone calls.

     At 3 a.m. my phone began ringing and I was so startled and answered immediately. It was inevitably our doctor. She said "I need you guys to head on down..Portia has made a turn for the worse and her heart has just stopped after another round of medicine..we are doing chest compressions now." I hung up, Corey and I threw on coats, got in the car and went straight to the hospital. I remember holding his hand so tight as we sobbed and drove through the dark night.

    Shortly, I got another phone call from the doctor saying "Amanda we have now done 3 rounds of chest compressions and she still isn't responding..we can keep trying if you want us too but too much can damage her heart completely"..I quickly replied "Do not give up..keep trying." After about 10 more minutes we were almost at the hospital and I got a third call. It was the doctor again "We have now done 4 rounds of compressions, her heart is very swollen and she is still not responding..I do not think there is any more we can do." I told her we were almost there knowing my baby had already gone to be with the Lord.. and we were not going to be able to tell her goodbye.

     When we got there it was silent and we were probably the only people there other than the doctors and nurses. They took us in a room that looked very familiar to me. A room where they think they are going to help you be strong and get over a loss when really the room is just depressing and screams death.

     After waiting 10 minutes the nurse brought Portia in the room for me to hold one last time. I held her and rocked her and pet her fur like I had done so many times before. Her body was still warm and her face looked so peaceful. She was not my bouncy fireball Portia though..she was gone and in Heaven now. I kissed her face, while Corey held me, and told her this wasn't fair and that I would see her again one day. I told her to give my daddy so much love in Heaven and keep him company until we all are there together one day.

     I handed her back to the doctor who looked at me with swollen eyes from crying herself and told me how brave I was and how Portia was so loved. I thanked her for all of their efforts and for being so gentle and sweet with my baby in her last hours. We drove home that night and I sobbed my eyes out once again. I felt an emptiness that was a feeling I sadly was used to. I asked God why he had to take this joy that he had placed in my life not long ago and prayed he would show me understanding and peace.

     After finally crying myself to sleep I woke up feeling miserable and once more..empty. We gathered all of Portia's things that were at Corey's and made a special box with everyhing that we didn't want to loose or ever forget (the smell of her blankets and her first toy and sweaters..etc.). The couple days after the accident I stayed at Corey's. I couldn't bare going to my house and down that road she was hit. On Sunday my mom came to Charlotte to be with me and she met me at my house. I remember her holding me in the front yard, and we cried and held each other for awhile. She helped me gather all the toys in the backyard and everything in the house that was Portia's so I didn't have to stare at it on a daily basis. I am so thankful for her and could not have gotten through this what so ever without her love and support.

     This was God's will though.. and I am finding comfort knowing he has a plan and reason for everything. That whole day of the accident was filled with his miracles. The sweet lady who dropped her plans that day and drove me to the hospital, praying endlessly,  was an angel from above. I wouldnt have been able to drive anywhere else after Petsmart without help, and she really was there for me..a complete stranger. Not to mention when we went back to Petsmart that night my car had not been towed and the doors were locked..meaning the employees at Petsmart made sure nothing happened to it which was very nice of them. All through the day I had people reaching out to me and praying for me that I barely know.. and holy cow is that encouraging and uplifting in so many ways. I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life and truly thank God for this large amount of comfort and compassion.

     About a week after loosing Portia, we were browsing through the Charlotte Observer and saw an add for adopting a sweet puppy yorkie. His brother had found a home and his owner already had 3 and didn't have much room for more. So we made a few phone calls and after talking with the owner over a few days we made a visit. I fell in love with Brody and couldn't resist bringing him home with us that night. He has been more than therapeutic for me and is completely different than Portia in so many ways which is actually what I was wanting if we were to get a new dog soon. I just can't handle having another Jack Russell yet mostly because they all remind me of her with their amazing features and personalities. There will however, be no other dog that compares to her. She was everything to me. Not many people get puppies at 2 weeks old and bottle feed, train them and love on them like I did. She became my child and my world. She did things no other dog will probably do and had a way about her that was so rare. She was gorgeous and flawless and always the most popular at the dog parks due to her spunk, speed and pretty frame. She showed us and taught us so much that no other being or animal could do.

     Brody, however, is quickly becoming my new little boy. He is much more laid back which has been new and seems to be an instigator thinking he is one of the big dogs. He does have the same love for toys, cuddles and blankets that Portia did and loves wearing cozy sweaters. He will never be Portia's replacement but rather her little brother that she gets to watch down over.

     Who knew this would all be in store for me this year and I don't wish it happening to my worst enemy but trying to get stronger each day. I want everything that happens in life to shape me and make me stronger in God's image. I hope that other may learn little things from this like the importance of driving slower and watching the road. We found out there was a tiny hole in the back of our fence and it was a motorcycle that his Portia which devastates me. I hope other realize you never know when you wont see someone or something the next day so live everyday like it is the absolute last.

...Until next time...