Monday, December 30, 2013

Put the GIVE Back in Giving Holiday Swap

Perception Is Everything

When Janna mentioned that she wanted to do a Holiday Card and Gift Swap, I was all game. Not only is she awesome and from my hometown, but I actually got to meet her months back! I was super stoked to participate and to meet some new Bloggy Gals!

I was introduced to Pinky @ P!nkpers!stance and although I'm not a fan for pink, it's pretty hard not to like it after checking out her blog! I fell in love with her addiction to the color after looking at all her beautiful wedding photos and chatting with her. She sent me the greatest gift too! Please excuse the photos that I'm including because lately my iPhone camera has not be kind to me and they do no glory to my precious gifts that I love!

My sweet Pinky couldn't have done a better job with my gifts-- and they will continue giving, without a doubt!

1. Magnetic Notepad w/ pens.
This is seriously one of my favorite things! (and when I say mine, I also mean my Man's too-- because he loves to write his hours down on these magnetic pads and his own personal grocery lists.. he knows better than to write on my lists) Not only can you never go wrong with more notepads but pens.. WOW! 

2. Would you believe that Pinky gave me my FIRST Essie nail polish? While I have been looking at the website and drooling over their colors for awhile now, I just haven't gotten my own. I was so in love with these colors that I took off my just painted polish and re-painted my toes and nails. In fact, I had set these polishes on the counter and Rob took it upon himself to paint one of his fingers. The most manly man on the planet wakes me up the next morning, howling about nail polish remover.  Good Lord!
(PS- have you noticed how strong Essie smells?)

I don't give myself fancy manicures nor do I claim to.. this was the best I could do. It looked great from far away, LOL. And Rob's wasn't too bad, right? He need's help-- I know!

3. Glade Candle.
This candle is won-der-ful! I complain all the time about not being able to smell much but I could totally smell this beauty! Actually, I really didn't want to burn it much because I didn't want to "waste" it. Thankfully, I know where to get more. It's hard to say if this was my favorite part of the gift box or not-- because really, this was pretty awesome!

4. Bodycology Exotic Cherry Blossom Moisturizing Body Cream.
Once again!!!  Something that I can smell. This luxurious lotion was so divine that I could literally lick it off my skin.. no fear, I did no such thing. Not only did it feel great but it made my skin feel smooth and the scent lasted for the longest time. I must find out where this can be bought because I would seriously buy stock in it!

Like I said, Pinky did a bang up job!

Now.. onto something a little disappointing to me-- I was supposed to send Janna a gift. I put SO much thought into it and was SO excited for her to get it. Little did I know that my little Christmas Elf (Rob) would mess up the address. Last minute, I was notified that the package was sent to the wrong address and was on it's way back to me. Thankfully, super sweet Janna was very understanding! I'm going to be sure to throw in a little something special for her troubles and having to get her package late-- I cannot wait for her to see what she got! 

All in all-- I'm so glad I participated!
Giving is really what the holidays are about! 
And it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! LOL

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Must Have Monday ~ Bathroom Edition (& a neat DIY idea)

Our bathrooms are sacred places, right? Seeing as I posted about Poo Pourri yesterday, I figured I should kick off this week telling you what I "Must Have" for my bathroom. 
While I'm not a bath-taking person, showering is my thing.. so I'm leaving out a drink holder but I will share with you a few things that would make my personal place pretty darned heavenly, if I do say so myself.

Over sized, Teal Towels
The color is my favorite and unisex. Over sized is always nice to have and although we have plenty of towels, we are moving in Feb so I'd like to have a new bathroom set.
* I thought I might share a neat trick with you.. for all of those who DIY *

This is a great way to hang your towels and for large families, color coding is great!
Here is how to do them:
1.  Get several different colors of cotton twill 1" wide tape
2.  Cut pieces of twill tape long enough so when looped, they will fit around your towel hooks.
3.  Loop twill tape pieces and fold ends under.  With a machine or by hand, sew loops onto towels where you want them.

Triple Laundry Sorter
It's no surprise that I do all the laundry and hey, I'm not complaining! While Rob knows how to do laundry, I just prefer to do it myself. A sorter like this would be really nice because I'm very particular about certain things (Hello OCD). It would be nice to keep our lights, darks, and towels all separate and have the "laundry basket" on wheels.
Shampoo, Conditioner, & Body Wash Dispenser 
I've always wanted one of these handy dandy things! My Sister had one in her old house and it was so awesome.  I hate a cluttered shower and they are so nice to have.  Rob would need one of his own, of course, but I'd also like to think it would help conserve product because you could clearly see how much you are using.

AM/FM Shower Radio w/ CD Player & Mirror
I'd probably never want to get out of the shower (especially since we never run out of hot water)! This is an awesome thing to have. Who doesn't want to jam out in the shower while getting clean? The CD Player might not get used that much but it's nice to have. Hopefully the radio channels would come in clearly. I'd love this and use it all the time!

What stuff does your bathroom need? What must you have this week?
I'm linking up with my home skillet Lindsey! We'd love for you to join in the fun!

The Crafty Practitioner


This is genius!
And just what all my Girlfriends need.. get some for yours soon!

And in Men's Scent too!!

The Interview with the Girl behind the Commercial..

The Bloopers are hilarious!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Gumbo, Bad Photos, & Headbanz

I can't tell you how excited I am that Christmas is over! Since most of my bloggy pals seem to be recapping their "happy day", I thought I might throw up some photos and a few words about mine. It was nothing too exciting but nevertheless.

Christmas "dinner" was not traditional in any way-- Seafood Gumbo, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus wrapped in bacon with balsamic sauce, and way too many sweet treats.  I will be posting the Asparagus recipe soon-- you will love it. I really enjoyed this approach to dinner because it was much less stressful than a huge turkey, stuffing, etc. 

Although we've been having "ups and downs" (or whatever you want to call it) lately.. we posed for Christmas pictures. While not being fancy at all & Rob looking like he had a bug up his ass.. these were some of the best photos we ended up with-- better than nothing!

Have you heard of Headbanz? I have, numerous times, and I've been dying to play it. When my Sister said she had games to play, I'll admit that I wasn't all that thrilled. But when she said she had Headbanz, it was game on! I played with my niece, her boyfriend, my nephew, sister, and Mother. At first, I was just stumped. But after the first few minutes, I caught on quick. The best part of the game was when my niece (picture here) grabbed a snack of meatballs with no idea what her Headbanz said. Towards the end of the game, my Father came in and started giving away tips to everyone so the game broke up quickly! It was so much fun and I can't wait to play it again!

While I wasn't excited about the holiday, I sucked it up and participated. Thanks to all of you that sent me kind messages-- it meant a lot. It's funny how Grief sneaks up on you but once I got everything off my chest, I felt better.
I hope everyone enjoyed the time with loved ones and created great memories!

Don't Lick Can Tops ~ Live & Learn Link Up #4

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Mine was decent but I'll share the deets later. I feel like I must share a painful lesson that I learned last week and hopefully prevent you from every suffering the way I did.. if you haven't already before.

Your Gotta Have Hart

As the majority of you know, I cook the family dinner on Sundays. My Mother suggested that I make a casserole and be the first to use her new dish this past week. At her request, I made a cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole. If you do a lot of cooking, then you know that this recipe is one you can play with. So imagine my surprise when I noticed that Campbells makes Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic. I'm just one of the biggest garlic fiends EVER so I had to try this.

I had everything laid out for my new cooking adventure and was so excited when I opened the can of "soup" that rather than lick the spoon for a taste, I went for the lid.
BAD NEWS!! I will never do that again.
After my first lick, I felt my tongue get sliced and tasted blood. OUCH!

While the dish was a hit, my tongue hurt for days. Everything that I would put in my mouth burned and that's not cool! 
Please let this be a lesson and never try this at home, folks!

The finished product-- Got Cheese?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fooling myself..

I guess I was fooling myself when I thought that the holidays would just pass by without causing any major issues for me. Not that I'm "dying on the inside" or ready to freak out and unleash my inner craziness on anyone-- it just hit me today that I am pretty upset and have put on a damned good face with all the recent festivities. Nobody wants to be a Debbie Downer.. nobody wants to continue to complain, year after year, about missing their child when everyone else is busy unwrapping presents, posing for family pictures, and creating memories to last a lifetime-- at least I don't want to be that person. I can't lie, I have been that person more than a handful of times (and that selfishness haunts me). 

I can't stand thinking that people are "walking on eggshells" around me because they are afraid that I'm a ticking time bomb, just ready to flip out like Jerry McGuire or someone because my grief is overwhelming. That the joy of their children opening presents or their laughter will send me into some tailspin of craziness and cause me to lock myself in my room for a month and hate them forever.  It's just not the case. 

Each year I look forward to attending the Candlelight Service at Church on Christmas Eve. This year I had every intention of going but tonight-- I can't find it in my heart to go.  I've been overwhelmed with tears and emotions. I find that family members have their own plans and people who have supported me in the past aren't even interested anymore. I just feel like turning "inward" and keeping to myself. I hope that I don't regret this tomorrow. I also hope that I don't follow my gut and stay home tomorrow and not participate in family events-- because I really don't want to.  I just want to stay in bed.

I pray that I wake up tomorrow in a better mood.. with a better mindset.  I pray that my Angels are with me and help me get through this.  And as always-- I pray that everyone have a blessed Christmas and be thankful for what they have.  Enjoy the life they are so lucky to enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Stealing Baby Jesus..

We've all seen these Nativity Scenes before. At church, stores, or in people's front yards.  Some people will have statues, some will have lighted figures. 
I've never actually paid much attention to them.. until this past Saturday night.

Saturday was just another boring day for me. I spent the entire weekend at my Parent's house, with my Mother, due to my Father being on a Toy Run in GA. We had big plans to go Christmas shopping and spend time together but that didn't work out. I waited ALL day for her to come home, as we had arranged. After watching the daylight hours pass and night time come around.. not only did I become more anxious but more irritable.

I decided that I would drive up to the Tom Thumb and get some crushed ice so I called   Lindsey on the way, to see what she was up to. As I was on my way back to the house, I passed a Nativity Scene and I thought, "Gosh I wish she was here so we could get into trouble"! I'd really like to snatch that Baby Jesus.
What possessed me to want to creep into someone's yard, risk being caught, and run off with pretty much the most important part of the set?  Boredom? I can't tell you.

I get home and think about this a little more. If I was currently hanging out with my BFF, she'd totally be down. We'd probably catch a good buzz and go raid the neighborhood.. grabbing a little baby Jesus for each one of us. What we would do with it, I can't tell you. I guess it's probably a good thing that she's busy doing her own thing because this is something we would do.
I can't imagine what my Mother would say if we came barreling in the house with two weathered baby Jesus dolls or if we called from jail and told her of our tale.

So I guess that next time I get bored and lonely on a holiday Saturday night, I either need to go shopping for my own Nativity Scene or be locked inside with my cell phone taken away. Lindsey was no help with this matter because she was instigating! 

Have you ever wanted to do something stupid-crazy like this due to boredom?

Oh and I will let you know that instead of doing something REAL stupid.. I played with this stuff! Pretty fancy, huh?

PS- I hope that all of you have a happy and safe Christmas Eve! I'm so thankful that I've met each and every one of you on my blogging journey so far. I'll be sure to say a prayer for you all when I'm lighting my candle in church at 11:58pm!

Tis the Season.. Naked Christmas Giveaway!

True Vintage Love | © 2013 | A Naked Christmas Giveaway, Urban Decay, Urban Decay Naked, Urban Decay Naked Basics, Urban Decay Naked Flushed, Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color, Urban Decay Giveaway

I'm super excited to bring you an AWESOME giveaway hosted by me and some of my best blog friends! This giveaway is for Urban Decay's Naked Basics Palette, Flushed Palette, and Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in "Naked!" I absolutely love these products and we're sure you will to! Here are the girls behind the giveaway:

Brittney | True Vintage Love
Sarah | Sarrrah Girl
Marla | A Weekend Crossing
Sabrina | Cattails + Cardigans
Raewyn | Be A Warrior Queen
Kari | This, Too
Johanna | Dear Life, We Need To Talk
Jamie | You Gotta Have Hart

These are some awesome ladies and I'm super glad I met them. Go check their blogs out and enter the giveaway below. The winner will be announced on the 31st!

Happy Holidays & Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Dad Always Amazes Me...

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this photo and you know that my sweet Father created this "little area" for my son Miller.. who doesn't get to share Christmases with us here on Earth. It was just one of the precious, unmentioned things that surprised me about this man that never asked for anything but constantly comes up with ways to touch my "hart" and remind me that even if people don't mention my son, he made a true impact.

After Miller passed away, January 23, 2005.. Christmas was never the same for my family. For a long time, there were no Christmas decorations put up, no holiday meals, no "Merry Christmases". I specifically remember the first year that my Father decided that he wanted to celebrate again.. I was living with my Parents and came home from a long day at work to see Christmas lights on the porch. As I walked up to the door, I could hear Christmas songs, a pre-lit tree decorated, and a mantle with our family stockings hung-- with a stocking for Miller hanging in the middle. I think I must have sat for hours staring at the mantle and sobbing. Since then, I don't always cry in public-- I can hide things.

Over the years, my Father has bought little presents for Miller each year.. that he's shopped for on his own. Some years it's been Harley Davidson ornaments as my Father loves Harleys. Other years it's been Cherry Cordials because that was my Father's favorite gift to receive on Christmas as a child. And last year it was little toys stuffed in Miller's stocking. My Father can be a man of many words but when it comes to our loss-- he is a man of very little words so this speaks to me profoundly.

Oh what a surprise it was to house sit while my Father and Mother traveled to South FL and find this precious tree and other "treats".. set up so preciously in the room that they spend the most time in. My heart is touched each time I think about it and see it. Also, my Mother told me that he even made the stocking himself-- so special.

And while we are talking about awesomeness-- my Father has been gathering brand new toys to not only donate with his Biker Club (Toys for Tots kinda thing, I think) but also to the local hospital that he volunteers at. All of the toys are awesome-- big and small.
Levi thinks they are ALL for him, of course.. and I've given him quite a few but he can't have them all. My Father is such a gracious, selfless person and is AMAZING!
I'm so thankful for him every day of my life but especially
this Holiday Season!

There were three bags of big & medium toys/stuffed animals and two bags of small toys!

Friday, December 20, 2013

My holidays thus far & a Kensie GIVEAWAY!

Christmas is next week, say whaa? Where exactly has the time gone?
Apparently, while time has been flying by.. this Scrooge has been doing her best to get into the Holiday Spirit without harming anyone along the way. 

Pompeii by Bastille on Grooveshark
absolutely LOVING this!

Because Rob has such a sweet tooth and I was feeling frisky due the temp around here getting into the low 50's for about 10 minutes.. I decided I would try to make Gingerbread Cookies for the first time in my life.  Also, a friend of mine that I hadn't seen for about three years caught up with me through Facebook and planned to stop by.  It was great to see her and pretty interesting because she brought a fancy, holiday beer that I had never tired before and would never buy on my own. Shiner Holiday Cheer-- she explained it as having a nutty, cinnamon taste but it just taste like beer to me. I'm not fancy whatsoever, give me a Miller Lite or Bud Light and I'm good to go.

Now look.. I've never claimed to be a baker. In fact, I'll be the first person to tell you that I can ruin a box of brownies. Normally when there is any baking done, Rob is the one doing it and I am taking pictures or being bossy. This little project was taken on by me and only me. I didn't google how to make Gingerbread men or ask for help, I simply just followed the directions on the box that told me how to mix the ingredients. Instead of cutting out my little men before I baked the dough, I just put aluminum foil over a large cookie sheet and spread the dough out until the entire sheet was covered, throwing sugar over the top of it. When I pulled it out, I realized something was very wrong. It crossed my mind to just throw away all of my evidence of failure but why give up? I cut my fat, little Ginger-boys and iced them with glee!!

After ruining a recipe, what could possibly make a girl happy? Scratch off lotto tickets that smell like Chocolate (seriously, they do.. although I could barely smell them due to my smelling issues). These are pretty neat, folks. Oh and winning $40 was pretty cool!

Anyone know what's even cooler than winning $40 on a scratch off? 
Getting to review some of the cutest earrings I've seen in awhile!
A couple weeks ago, the company Kensie gave me the opportunity to check out some of their products and I chose these yellow & gold Statement Earrings. I'm loving the color yellow because you can basically wear it any time of the year and of course because I'm in sunny Florida! When I got these guys in the mail, I was surprised to see how trendy they were, how many outfits I could wear them with, & also how light they were.

Kensie is a trendy clothing brand that is globally recognized and they are kind enough to offer a few of their goodies (seen above) so that I can host a giveaway! I decided that since I initially picked jewelry, I'd keep this as a jewelry giveaway and throw in a fun belt for kicks!
The giveaway ends Christmas so have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Linking up with Whit today and hoping things start looking up for her soon! 
Special thanks to my Lindsey Lou Poo!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

H.U.G.S. ~ Live & Learn Link Up #3

Hey Y'all! I've got a very important message to share with you today, it's one that really touched my heart! It's the 3rd week of the Live & Learn Link Up (invite your friends)..
and I'm having an awesome giveaway TOMORROW!

When a friend of mine posted the following video on Facebook, I was hesitant to watch it. I'm sure we all know that there are so many trending videos and people like to think that each and very one of them is either hilarious or has an important message, but this one does. Take a peek and then I'd like to talk a little about it..

Pretty crazy, huh? I've literally seen stuff like this happen.. from both sides of the "race stick". It's sad and it seems to happen a lot in the South too. I love the message that the Woman shared at the end..
I love that she asked if the white female was laying on the street dying, would she go and help her. And asked where her caring and loving heart was. And I understand that the black female speaks of everything her race has been through in the past but the woman getting her hair cut is right-- it's not our fault currently, it's something that we don't have control over and we shouldn't constantly step on each other and bring ourselves down--
we SHOULD rise above and embrace one another.

Racism can seem to be like a vicious plague. But, as with many problems started by humanity, it can be solved by humanity.

Many people want to become more proactive against racism and racist people. The truth is that racism is deeply entrenched in society and it's often a lot more difficult to resist than first realized. Nonetheless, once you have a good understanding of how racism often plays out, you can begin to take a meaningful stand against racism.

Understand your own racist thoughts and behaviors. When you have racist thoughts, recognize it. This is the first step to becoming less racist. 

Each day I am willing to take steps forward to end racism, are you?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Best Songs of 2013

Helene in Between
Happy Wednesday, folks! I can't tell you how excited I am today because one of my favorite peeps is hosting a link up.. Helene is awesome and we share the same incredible love and passion for music. Plus she posts her Playlists and this Chica has the "DL" on some really happenin' Music Festivals too!

So my mission here is to showcase some of what I think are the Best Songs of 2013 and lets just get real for a sec.. there's no possible way that I could fit all of my faves in one post or that I could come up with them all in one or two days. Trying to do so would literally drive me bat-shit crazy and we just can't have that, can we? No! 
The songs that I am listing are just what happened to come to my mind while composing this lovely here. I can't wait to see what everyone else lists and possibly find some new favorites to add to my collection. Woot!

"Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men
*when I find a song that I fall in love with, I literally play it over and over until I not only know all the words but pretty much all the notes.. and I know it all with this*

Just Give Me a Reason (feat. Nate Ruess) by P!nk on Grooveshark
I've always been a fan of Pink but I just couldn't get this song out of my head for the longest time and it's awesome to blare in the car.

Same Love Ft. Mary Lambert by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Grooveshark
Not only lovin' the lyrics but isn't Mary Lambert's voice the bomb? I love it!

Absolutely loving "Royals" but this is pretty awesome too!

Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker on Grooveshark
This song is awesome and reminds me of one of my other favorite bloggers, Erin.. She's got the cutest video of her husband singing it on her blog. But I've loved Darius since his Hootie days. He can do no wrong.

Cups (Pitch Perfect’s “When I’m Gone”) by Anna Kendrick on Grooveshark
I have to admit that we rented Pitch Perfect and didn't finish even half of it, nor did I know this song was from the movie until I searched for it online. I just loved this and thought it was catchy from the first time I heard it.  Have you seen the video?? 
Umm yeah, this chick beats on stuff for like 2 minutes before the music starts. Bleh.

Annnnnd while I think the video is stupid, I happen to adore this song & the lyrics.

Next To Me by Emeli Sandé on Grooveshark
Oh.My.Gosh.  This song just makes me feel good!
My Kind Of Love by Emeli Sandé on Grooveshark    My Kind of Love by Emeli Sande on Grooveshark
Emeli also has this song that I adore. I love acoustic versions of songs but in case you haven't heard the original, I wanted to give you the chance. Emeli is amazing!

I listened to this so many times on my phone that I think Siri has it memorized.

Cruise by Florida Georgia Line on Grooveshark
I love this song but is it bad that every time that I hear it, I change the lyrics and sing:
"Baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and poot".
I can't help it- seriously. I love changing lyrics.

Clarity (feat. Foxes) by Zedd on Grooveshark
Loving this!

So.. I must let you know that I totally wrote out a list of songs that came to my mind when writing this blog and over the past couple of hours, I've been adding to it. No, it doesn't take me hours to write a blog post.. it's just that I've been taking small breaks to vacuum and mop the floor and I may have gone to the store to get a cup of ice in 49 degree weather (which is not cold to me), and I may have worn capris & flip flops.

I digress.. like I said earlier, there's no way I could possibly include all of the songs that *I thought* were the best of the year but I've shared a few of them and figured I would just name a few more. I can't wait to see what 2014 has to offer!!

Holy Grail - Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
Sweater Weather - The Neighborhood
Lights - Ellie Goulding
Brave - Sara Bareilles
Still Into You - Paramore
Let Her Go - Passenger
If I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars
Beautiful - Mariah Carey feat Miguel
Timber - Kesha feat Pit Bull
Wake Me Up - Avicci 
Say Something - A Great Big World

Oh and hey.. 

Arf, Woof, Meow.. (translation: Donate to Shelters Please)

It's no surprise, I'm an animal lover! But what some of you may not know is that I've done major amounts of work at Animal Hospitals, Competitive Horse Barns, Groom Shops, etc. Also, I've done more than my fair share of Volunteering too! Not just with dogs and cats but I've worked with wildlife as well. At one point, I was a manager of a Wildlife Rescue Center and spent a lot of time raising baby squirrels, opossums, a many different types of birds (hawks, bluebirds, robins, chimney swifts).
I learned so much!!  To this day, and probably for the rest of my life.. Animals of all types and breeds are a real passion of mine.

I want to share with you, today, some reasons why donating to Animal Shelters is a great way to give during the holiday season-- bringing happiness to yourself and so many sweet little fur babies that deserve happiness themselves. Also, some tips on what most Animal Shelters are in need of year 'round!

Animal shelters all over the country tend to stay at full capacity. Most are running on a limited budget, and rely heavily on donations. One visit to a shelter, and you can't help but want to help. Some things shelters need are obvious, some are not. Helping may not be as hard as you think.

  • 1) Towels. We all wear out our towels. Some get worn at the ends, some get dingy or discolored, and some get holes in them. Guess what? The animals don't care! Often, animals are brought in wet or cold. Sometimes, they just want something to lie on. Towels are very versatile. They can be used as blankets, be used to dry a wet animal, or be used to clean messes the animals make at the shelter.
  • 2) Old blankets. These can be used similar to the towels. They can be cut up to use in cages with smaller animals, or left whole for the larger animals. All of them love things to lay on. People often throw these away, but shelters love them. Check yard sales, too. Often, people sell them very cheap.
  • 3) Food. Dog food, cat food, or any other kind of animal food for the animals your shelter takes in. Sometimes, when the budget is stretched, food is needed badly. Consider using coupons or sales to get food at a discounted price to donate. Both dry and canned food can be used. Full bellies make animals happier in a scary situation. Mother's milk replacements (you can buy this at Walmart or pet supply stores such as Petsmart). I would recommend calling your local shelter to make sure they don't feed a specific brand or type of food.
  • 4) Treats. Treats are often on sale at stores, and can be purchased cheap. Both dogs and cats look forward to these treats whenever they can get them. Most any kind is appreciated. Rawhide bones are also well loved. I would recommend calling your local shelter to make sure they don't feed a specific brand or type of treats.
  • 5) Placemats. Tired of your placemats? Ready for new ones? Have old ones stored that you never use? Cloth and vinyl placemats are both useful. Cats love them to lay on. Vinyl ones can be used under food bowls. Cloth ones can be used for a kitty sized bed. They don't even care if they are stained or "dated".
  • 6) Cash. Of course, every shelter could use a donation of money. Every single dollar helps. Donate a couple of dollars of your own. Help stretch the shelter's budget. Most of the time, these donations are tax deductible.
  • 7) Toys. If you were alone in a cage, wouldn't you want something to play with? Check with your shelter. Some take them, some don't, but animal toys are often overlooked, and they wear out fast. Squeaky toys, stuffed animals and even balls are played with by our furry friends.
  • 8) Litter. Most shelters have lots and lots of cats, and change litter often. They can always use more litter. Litter boxes are also useful because they are always getting in more cats and kittens.
  • 9) Laundry detergent. Those blankets, towels and things have to be washed. Laundry detergent, if not donated, comes out of the shelter's budget. Fabric softener is also very welcome!
  • 10) Grooming items. Animals need to be bathed, brushed, and taken care of. Items to help groom them are not often donated. Sometimes, you can get these things from a dollar store cheap. Brushes, combs, shampoos, even animal nail clippers are useful items.
  • 11) Cat or dog beds. If you have them, if you see them on sale, or if you know someone getting rid of theirs...animal beds are so loved by the animals. A soft place to lay and relax. Comfort is important.
  • 12) Leashes and collars. Shelters often use them to walk animals, and they also often give them away with adoptions, so they are always in short supply. They aren't very expensive, but when you go through so many, the cost adds up for the shelters. All sizes are needed and used.
  • 13) Newspaper. Lots of us have newspapers. Newspapers can line the bottoms of cages for puppies and kittens. It something that takes no effort to collect, but makes a lot of difference. Imagine how often those papers need to be changed!!! If you get the paper daily, why not set them aside in a box or something similar and take them every so often to your local shelter? Some towns have local papers that come out weekly with ads and such, if yours do.. you can pick them up in masses and donate them. (My town has "Thrifty Nickel" and such)
  • 14) Food dishes. Can you imagine how many of these shelters go through on a regular basis? They get worn out, pushed around, and broken. New ones are also something that isn't expensive, but eats into a shelter budget.
  • 15) Time. Can you go play with the animals on occasion? Can you help walk them, feed them, or care for them? Do you have room at your home to foster a loving pet until if finds a forever home? Shelters are often over-crowded, and sometimes under-staffed. Most are very happy to have volunteers. So much needs to be done on a day to day basis that often animals don't get the attention they long for. Even the smallest amount of time can make a huge difference at a shelter. Consider one day a week after work, or a couple of hours on a weekend. Consider opening your home to a foster animal or two. The shelter and the animals will be grateful.
Feel free to contact your local shelters. They may need things that aren't listed here. Some could use baby gates for wandering animals, or shelters that take in smaller animals such as rabbits or guinea pigs might need things like cages and water bottles. Your local shelter will be more than happy to let you know what they need. It takes very little to make a difference in the lives of animals. And how great would you feel about yourself if you donated some time to these sweet babies needing some love? It would make my day!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Guest Post Q&A;

Happy Sunday! My sweet & adorable friend Elizabeth @ Army Ever After invited me to "guest post" on her cute Blog today. We did a fun, little Q&A so if you want to check it out-- I hope you all had a great weekend!
I'm so thankful that I made it through the weekend without killing my fiance.
He has gone to all new lows--
the Little Drummer Boy plays on!