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Dogs

Sweet Nothings

Claude Lately

Claude on the way home from a good romp at Laurel Canyon Dog Park

Claude on the way home from a good romp at Laurel Canyon Dog Park

My husband recently made fun of me mercilessly for the fact that one of the only folders visible on my computer desktop is titled, “Claude Lately.” The name speaks for itself — it’s a folder devoted to the ongoing adventures and misadventures of the most dashing black Puggle on the planet. So, yeah, maybe I have a little slice of random-access-memory where I catalog my favorite photos of our pup on a monthly basis. What of it? Other dog lovers do that, too, right? Just for giggles, I figured I would share some of my compulsive additions to Claude Lately with you…

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Sweet Nothings, Travel

Just Go

How can this image of gnomes and a wiener dog peering out of a trailer not inspire wanderlust?

How can this image of gnomes and a wiener dog peering out of a trailer not inspire wanderlust?

I’ve had this unshakable urge to do something irresponsible, err spontaneous, lately. I’ve been itching to pack up my car on a moment’s notice, hit the road with my sweet, and just go. Go where? I’m not sure, but I know even the simplest trip up the Pacific Coast Highway would prove to be a fabulous adventure. This feeling of wanderlust has even entered my dreams, and I’ve woken up several mornings convinced that I’ll find an Airstream trailer or old Volkswagen bus parked in my driveway along with keys in the ignition and a note that reads “Drive Me.” In one such dream, I ended up road-tripping in a trailer that had a spinning cupcake on top of it (a la these kitschy trailers), so my love and I went with the flow and sold cupcakes all the way from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo…

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Sweet Nothings

Purple and the Pup

I spy with my tiny eye something black (and dontcha just love the flipped-back ear?)

I spy with my tiny eye something black (and dontcha just love the flipped-back ear?)

We had a laid-back long weekend filled with of lots of chores, flea markets, and TV marathons. It also just so happens that, on Saturday night, my husband and I went to our first real Hollywood party – by this I’m referring to the kind of event that’s spent standing in uncomfortable shoes by a stranger’s hilltop pool, while everyone around you talks about the famous movie actors with whom they have close, personal relationships. We were at the party to visit with some dear childhood friends, so we just let any poser-ish talk roll off our backs and even laughed at it, but I couldn’t help thanking my lucky stars that our time thus far in Los Angeles has been populated by far more genuine people than fame chasers. This is to say: in a city renowned for its plasticity, we’re so fortunate to know people who value time spent laughing on porches of the non-rich-and-famous over near brushes with stardom. When we awoke the next morning to find our pup lounging amidst a lush upcropping of purple flowers in our yard, I couldn’t help thinking that this was a timely reminder from the universe that life is all abut the simple stuff. I hope you enjoy a few of the photos my sweet and I managed to snap while hiding out in our purple shrubs, savoring silliness and simplicity…

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Sweet Nothings

Craving Calm

Claude is one happy camper with a twig and his parents nearby

This world has been a very noisy and confusing place for a certain short-dark-‘n’-handsome gentleman lately. I’m of course speaking of my pup, Claude, who has found himself utterly puzzled by the construction sounds, strange smells, and plastic drop cloths our current kitchen remodel has brought into his home. He does several perimeter searches daily and sniffs around each miniscule corner of our yard as though making sure everything that’s vital to his world-domination plan (oh yes, I’m positive he has such a plan) is still in place. Claude has even been hiding his toys and acting quite hungry for attention, but I noticed a marked change in his behavior this Saturday when my husband and I spent every daylight hour in the backyard with our four-legged son. It was anything but tranquil and quiet, because we were cutting, sanding and sealing our new counter tops, but Claude didn’t mind the noise concession – he merely seemed happy to have both his parents at his side and an unlimited supply of sticks at his disposal. Seeing what a blissful grin this day of togetherness brought to my pup’s face has made me crave more calm time just spent with my little family. I can’t wait until we’re done with our kitchen projects at the end of the month, and I fully intend to block out vast stretches in my calendar for doing nothing in particular other than being together…

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Sweet Nothings

Ringing In

Glittery 2012 decoration we spotted on the sidewalks of the North End in Boston, MA

Although I rang in New Years by curling up in an airplane seat with the first Twilight novel and fighting off a nasty cold, I could not be happier about how I spent the last week of 2011. The past year has been all about love and big milestones for me after all, and there could have been no better way to celebrate this than in the city where I was born, surrounded by family, old friends, and holiday traditions. While in Boston, my sisters made me laugh my head off as we decorated gingerbread cookies, my husband helped me play tourist at museums and city landmarks, and my mom took me down memory lane with her famous sweet rolls on Christmas morning. Here are a few snapshots from the week…

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Sweet Nothings

Dapper Birthday

Me and my pup on his first birthday - isn't he dapper?

Speaking of milestones, today was my pup’s first birthday and I wouldn’t change a thing. We had a hyperactive play date at the dog park, then came home for an evening of peanut-butter cupcakes and posing for photos with his new bow tie. Yeah, I’m just that kind of proud mama who can’t resist sharing her puppy’s dapper mug with you right now on the off chance that it helps make your day a little sweeter. Claude has truly sweetened my life over the past year, after all, and I feel so grateful that I have his bouncy energy and exploratory, nudgy, wet nose prodding at me to play with him at the end of every long day…Wishing everyone smiles and contentedness the likes of which I feel when I look into Claude’s tired, puppy-dog eyes as I type. Sweet dreams of bow ties and cupcakes to all!

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Love

Dog Days of Dating

Letting my pup do all the smiling and talking for me in White Sands, NM

Back when I was a single lady I received unsolicited dating advice on an hourly basis. One such recurring tidbit of wisdom was that dogs do wonders for a person’s love life. I never had a chance to test this theory out because I didn’t get a dog until I was living with my fiancé, but I’ve recently come across some pretty staggering evidence that proves this piece of advice true. Namely: as I’ve explored the streets of my new hood over the past few days with my pup and a bunch of poop bags in tow, I’ve been hit on more times than I ever was in my dogless single life. These haven’t been sleazy guys hitting on me either (at least not for the most part), so I’ve decided dog ownership is second only to online dating as the best way to meet a mate. For anyone out there who still thinks mutt mojo is a myth, however, here are some tips for making doggie dates work for you…

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Travel

Southwestern Sands

Ah, the blue skies and pristine dunes of White Sands, New Mexico

This weekend was surreal for many reasons – the endlessness of the Lone Star State’s cattle-lined roads, the cacti-covered hills of Arizona, and the marriage vows my sweet and I composed as we crossed into new time zones. My senses are still reeling from eating too much Tex-Mex in El Paso, lazing with margaritas in our hotel room in Las Cruces, and entertaining our pup with ice cubes for hours in the car. Even with all this emotional and epicurean stimuli, I have to say the most vivid experience of our road trip thus far has been the time we spent strolling the dunes of White Sands, New Mexico. The name pretty much sums up the majesty of this national park, where you can roam dream-like landscapes for just three dollars a day. This Saturday, the park was also the place where our puppy walked on sand for the first time, which proved to be love at first sinking step. It was so fun watching him frolic and snort up sand, and I think his innocence so aptly reflects the dreamy-eyed, carefree spirit I’ve felt throughout this road trip…

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Inspiring Tidbits, Movies and TV

Make My Day

Guns sprouting flowers on the side of an abandoned building in Austin, TX

There is a fine line between procrastination and inspiration. We all need to live life in order to be inspired in our work, but – at the same time – we need to keep our noses to the grindstone so we can accomplish the things that matter. Achieving this balance between life and my desk has been quite the challenge of late due to the swampiness of my work situation, but I’ve discovered that the key is finding joy in small doses and taking time at the end of each day to acknowledge even the tiniest things that have made me happy. Miniature snippets of each of the following things are what’s making my day/week/month right now…

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Sweet Nothings

Colorful Weekend

Still-standing sign for the recently demolished St. Elmo-tel in Austin, TX

I hope you have a weekend full of color TV, wildflower landscapes and all the splendid signs of springtime. Even if you live amidst a terrain of snow, here’s to wishing some confused crocuses pop up to make your day…I’ll be working most of the weekend, but I hope to get out long enough to let my pup romp through some fields of Texas wildflowers. The wild blooms that carpet roadsides and public parks for miles in this state are such a comforting, awe-inspiring sight, and the way my dog frolics through them having sneezing fits from all the pollen he insists on wearing on his nose is sure to make my working weekend feel deceptively fun.

Psst: Do you have any big plans for ruckus or relaxation in the days ahead? I’d love to hear all about it and live vicariously through you. Happy weekend!

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