Our Dog Adoption Story: Roxie

After reading some other Adoption Stories at Dogthusiast I wanted to share Roxie’s adoption story. We have had our puppy, Roxie for almost 3 years already. She is one of the family. She sleeps either in my bed or my son’s and is one of the kids that always wants attention. Roxie is a spoiled brat just like our human kids. I say that in a loving way.

Roxie was a stray in Phoenix. Her and her brother were found wandering around the city the weekend of Thanksgiving. Someone found them and was taking them to the pound when my friend took them in. My friend took them believing that the puppies owner was just away for Thanksgiving and would come home and look for their escaped pet.

A few months later my friend still had the puppies in her care. She knew that she had taken on too much and looked to rehome one of the pups. Roxie, who my friend had named Nox was the least favorite of the two and I saw the pictures of her online and had to have her. I bugged my husband about it and he kind of assaulted my friend with questions about Nox. He was overseas and I was adopting the puppy without him being able to meet her.

I finally told my husband that I was going to take Nox in as a favor to my friend and that if she didn’t fit well with our family that I would just be a foster parent until we found Nox a new home. As soon as I brought Nox home I was in love. She was such a sweet puppy. I had to put her through some tests before I would let her near my little boy. I hated to do it but I pulled on her ears and her tail to see how she would react with someone being mean to her. Her reaction was to shy away from me, and not to get aggressive with me. I gave her big hugs and treats and tried to reassure her that we were nice but I was happy to know that if my toddler bugged her she wouldn’t snap at him.

Best friends! #toddlerlove #puppylove #dogsofinstagram #pitbull

A photo posted by Monica (@monzanitas) on

I wasn’t too fond of the name Nox, so I started to subtly change it to Rox, and then Roxie. My brother-in-law came up with the name and everyone loved it as much as we loved her.

When my husband came home and there was some difficulty getting him and Roxie used to each other but in the end they both learned to love the other like family, and they still do.

Naptime! #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbull #dogsofinstagram #pitbulllove

A photo posted by Monica (@monzanitas) on

Lately Roxie’s favorite one in the family is Baby Thomas who is 8 months old now. She knows that he spit ups all the time and it taste good and he will let her lick his face until mom yells. She also loves sitting beneath his high chair as he learns to eat crackers and cereal because he always shares with her and if she’s lucky mom will put his tray on the floor so that she can lick up any of the messy remains.

Roxie decided to join our photoshoot today. #dogsofinstagram #pitbull #babylove #lovemydog

A photo posted by Monica (@monzanitas) on

I really love this pup so much. She is currently sleeping on my feet and keeping them warm! I’m so glad that we adopted her a few years ago and that she is such a great dog. Seriously, rescues are the best! If you need a new friend in your life go check out your local shelter or pound. You will seriously be so happy that you did. Just know that it can take some time and effort to train them and be ready to care for them their entire life.

Make Everyday a Funeral

Make everyday a funeral is the worst title I'veever written, but I had to use it anyway
‘Make Everyday a Funeral’ is probably the worst title I have ever written. You can take it how you want, funny, depressing or just all out wrong but it completely sums up how I have been feeling lately.

I lost my uncle last Christmas and I am still having a really hard time with it. It was suicide and I always wish I would have expressed my love and appreciation more while he was alive. There have been a few more suicides recently that have effected me- the one everyone knows about was Robin Williams. With every death it makes me so sad to see everyone tell their favorite stories and memories and talk about the good qualities of the deceased after they are gone.

I want to let everyone I love know that I love and appreciate them before they are gone. That’s why I have the eerie title. I want to remember and take time to say the nice things that are said at a funeral long, long before the funeral. Want to join me?

Ideas of Showing Love and Appreciation:

Share your favorite memories, traits and features of your loved ones. I have tried to make an effort to think of saying these things when I see or talk to my family and friends. I sometimes will write these things in a birthday facebook post or cards. It’s a great idea for when you don’t know what to say!

Take time to spend time with family and friends. I am guilty of letting spending time with people that mean alot to me go by the wayside. I have been trying to take the time to hang out with friends and family and to go see them now. We may not have as much time with people as we would like and we shouldn’t put off the good times.

Show your love. Now. The biggest thing I have tried to take away from the death I have seen lately is that you never know how much time you have with someone. Go and fix any problems you have with friends and family, make up. Take the time to call your mom. Send an email or letter to ask how your loved ones are doing. Just take a few minutes of each day to do something to show your love, and don’t wait.

Warning: Having Chickens May Change Your Life

Chickena May Change Your Life
I have wanted chickens for quite awhile. I was amazed to find out that you could have them in urban areas, and once I found out that they were much easier to care for than I would have thought, I knew that I would have them myself. I finally convinced my husband that we were ready for them and he agreed to let me go get ‘a couple’. I brought home three hens and the story was that the extra one jumped in the box!

Having our hens has changed a lot in my life. It has changed our living style, outlook and goals. They keep me a little bit more active and help me stay focused on our home life.

We started spending more time outside. Even in the heat of the summer we spend time outside to care for the chickens, or just to enjoy watching them do weird chicken-y things. We also love to go outside to check for eggs.

DIY Hen House
My DIY Hen House, made from scraps!

I started being handy and resourceful.I’m not sure how long this one will last, but I needed to build them a coop and I used our scrap wood to make them a little henhouse. My husband had to teach me to use powertools and he had to help me with some of the planning and stepped in to help with putting a couple peices together, but mostly I built the coop myself. I am so proud and it gives me the encouragement that I need to know that I can do other projects and fix things myself if needed.

I want my yard to look nice. Going out in the yard more makes me want to keep it looking good so that we can enjoy being out there more. I have plans for actual landscapers to come and do when we save up for it, and I have been taking time to slowly work on it myself.

I pick up the dog poop more often. I have always been pretty lazy about picking up the dog poop. Being outside more and seeing it (and smelling it!) more often has helped encourage me to pick it up in a more timely manner. That makes for a much nicer yard and a more enjoyable space.

I want to garden. The landscaping I have been attempting and planning has made me want to garden. Although I have yet to start I have been reading up on anything and everything and watching gardening youtube videos.

We have been eating better. We feed the chickens mostly table scraps. They mostly eat veggie scraps, so now everytime I buy veggies I’m not worried about them going bad, because they will be eaten one way or another so it’s not wasteful. When we have more healthy food like veggies around we tend to eat quite a bit healthier. Not to mention that we have fresh, healthy eggs to eat too.

I now have a compost pile. The chickens don’t always eat all of the kitchen scraps, so it started a compost pile. I then did research and started adding more to the pile and now we have a great compost pile going. It’s a perfect way to clean up the chicken poop and wood shavings from the henhouse. The compost will be great for the garden I’m starting soon!

We waste less. With what we feed to the chickens and put in the compost pile our trash cans take much longer to fill up. It’s great because I hate taking out the trash.

I’m getting into shape, and sitting on the couch less. The landscaping I have been doing, and caring for the compost and everything else gets me up and going almost everyday. I have needed it. Even though it is still super hot outside I finally get a little bit of exercise, and I sure have needed it.

I keep the housework up, a little bit. My husband wasn’t too thrilled about me taking on more responsibility when before I was having a hard time keeping up with housework and caring for the kids and everything else I want to do in my life. I was pretty lazy and acted helpless while I was pregnant but after I showed him that I could do everything he was ok with us getting a couple chicks. I don’t always have all the housework done (ok, it’s never all done or even mostly done) but I actually do some of it and quite a bit more than I used to do. Really I just loathe laundry, dishes and cleaning but now that I have something to work towards (keeping the chickens) I tend to do quite a bit more. Also, being active with stuff outside helps me be more active with stuff inside. I guess it is true that an object in motion stays in motion.
the kids and our baby chicksWe had to get cute baby chicks. The hens we found on craigslist seem to be much older than we were told. Only one is a good layer, and one hasn’t laid for us ever. It was a great start for me to get to know and care for chickens but I won’t ever get hens again, we will just start with chicks. We just bought a few chicks so that we will have eggs in a few months. Until then they are so cute and fluffy and just a joy to have and to play with. I mean look at the kid’s happy faces. I’m just as happy looking at them and holding their cuteness! I can’t beleive how the grow so quickly.

Bob the Builder- the Hen versionMy son loves the ‘chicky-chicks’. The pictures and memories of him playing with all of the chicky-chicks is completely worth having the chickens and all of the work. He named some of them himself and just loves them. That’s why we have a hen named ‘Bob the Builder’. It’s also a great lesson to him on being gentle!

Do you have chickens? How have they changed your life?

For some great reading check out these books! (Affiliate Links)
Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces
Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard

Memorial Day Jeep Adventure {Beautiful Images}

Memorial Day is a day to spend time thinking of those we have lost while they were out protecting our country and our freedom. This means that we are free to spend time out enjoying our country, America the Beautiful. Here are some pictures I took while we out this weekend on our little Jeep adventure. Feel free to use these pictures in anyway you like, they would make lovely background images.

jeep adventure

We went out to find Sunflower Mine. While we didn’t see any sunflowers there were many other beautiful wildflowers along the way. There have been fires recently and it was amazing to see the wildflowers and new growth among all the burnt trees.

We stayed along a very tiny stream for awhile and the trees and wildlife were beautiful. It was a nice break from our regular desert scenery.

We also found purple rock, It was a type of shale or something. It was so neat to find rock that color, I have never seen any. If I had I would have thought it was fake. My sister and I collected some small purple river rocks and I took home a couple of pieces of the bigger purple shale rocks, they will go around my fire pit in the backyard. My goal is to take a few rocks from everywhere we travel and have a small patio of memories. Hopefully soon I will have pictures of the projects we make with the rocks.

We found lots of mine remnants and took a look in the old machinery and looked in at the mine shafts as well.

We finished up around sunset, it was a nice end to a great day.

America is beautiful. It’s amazing that I was able to enjoy that beauty with my family.

For More Beautiful Pictures and Jeep Related Posts, Check out these links:
Arizona Cacti
Printable Bookmarks with Journaling Tips
Camping and Jeep Adventure on the Mogollon Rim

Random Ways I Love to Save Money

4 Different Ways to Save Money

I have been wanting to write about some of my random ways to save money, and this week’s Ask the Readers question over at Wisebread inspired me to finally get to writing about some of my favorite ways to save. I hope that these ideas help inspire others to save money in new ways!

As you are reading this remember that everyone’s level of thriftiness is different- where I don’t mind doing certain things to save money they may be way out of your comfort zone, just like many things are out of my comfort zone. (Have you seen that show on tv about cheapskates? I couldn’t do most of the things that they do to save money!)

Make What You Would Otherwise Buy-

This can be food, crafts or anything really. I do a little of both. It helps that I usually enjoy cooking and DIY crafts but many times you will realize how easy it is to do something that you could pay to be done instead. When you see something you want just ask yourself “Can I make that?” and see if it is a feasible way to save some money. I was totally thinking this after driving by the tamale stand last week, so I will probably be making tamales soon.

I joined the 15 Minute Suppers group where we post new dinner ideas on Fridays that take 15 Minutes or Less- the idea is to make something at home in the amount of time it would take to order delivery. Cooking these easy meals saves us money because instead we would be eating out way too often. I try to do the same with packing my husband lunches, but lately I have had way too hard of a time getting up in time to make him something. When I do make him lunches I will sometimes make him Homemade Lunchables or Homemade Chicken Snack Wraps– both things I can easily make at home for way less than what you would buy them for.

I also try to make all sorts of DIY projects at home. Check out some of my Best Tutorials to see what kinds of things you could make instead of buying. My latest DIY projects have been Jeep-related, but I need to get to making new carseat strap covers and fixing up a playmat for the new baby before he comes in a couple of weeks. For me the time and materials to make most of these things is way less than buying them new, plus they are personalized so many times I am more happy with them and less likely to buy replacements.

Water Bottles-

Reuse Water Bottles to Save MoneyReusable water bottles are nice, but they can also be expensive and a pain in the butt. Our compromise is to use bottled water and refill them a bunch of times before tossing them. I love the convenience of just being able to grab a cold water bottle whenever I want and being able to throw it away if I need to.  I don’t worry about losing it  or breaking it but at the same time we aren’t just thowing away money. I probably buy a case of water bottles once a month or less.

Be Lazy-

How to Stop ShoppingBe lazy at going shopping and wait to buy stuff. Don’t go straight to the store when you need something, wait a few days or so. You might realize you don’t need whatever it was in the first place. I have written about Ways to Stop Shopping but I’ve taken it to a whole new level- I am just lazy and haven’t wanted to take the time to go shopping for things we need, let alone things we don’t need. It has saved me money because by the time I actually do go to the store I realize that I have lived a few days or a few weeks without whatever was on my list and I probably don’t need it at all.

Hide the Paper Goods-

Paper Goods=Money Wasters They are easy to hide for special occasions though!
A basket is an easy way to store paper goods/fine china until they are pulled out for special occasions or a special lazy day!

We do have paper towels, paper plates and even *real* tissues but we don’t have them out where they are easy to access. I hide them from myself and my family mainly. Visitors are usually confused, some of my family even gets a little upset that I hide the paper towels. Hiding the paper towels, and paper plates and things makes you stop to think about how easy it is to grab a dish cloth instead of a paper towel or to wipe your nose on TP instead of more expensive tissues.

I love using our “fine china” aka paper plates because it saves me from doing dishes, but having them set out of the way keeps me from being lazy and grabbing them for every meal. Saving the paper goods are all little things but the savings really do add up. What are a couple more dirty dish rags or dirty dishes when you are already doing a load of wash anyway?

On the other side of things, when we get a bad cold I will bring out the nice tissues (I buy the expensive ones with lotion) for when your nose gets too raw. Otherwise my TP Tissue Box is out and works great. When my father or guests come over and ask for paper towels I don’t mind grabbing them from their hiding place and letting them use them. If anyone wants to use my “fine china” I am happy to bring it out. I just try to save everything for special occasions so that we aren’t constantly wasting money on paper goods every week.

These are just a few of the ways that I try to save money around the house. I figure that being a stay at home mom means that saving money is my job, and most of the time I am good at it. So tell me, am I going overboard with saving money or do you do any of these things too?

More Money Saving Ideas:

How to Stop Shopping (Curb Your Spending!)
Our Family Dinner Idea List
Motivational Credit Card Sleeves

13 Reasons to Love Your Dog

The Safety Collar Giveaway is going on Now! Click here to go see the story of The Safety Collar and to Enter!

I love dogs, but I especially love my puppy! She is a great companion to me, my son and my husband! She can be a pain in the rear, but I can’t imagine life without her now that we have her. Here’s a few reasons to remind you why we love our dogs!

13 Reasons to Love Your Dog

1. Your dog is a forever companion to you- even if it gets uncomfortable when your 40lb or more puppy wants to be a lap dog!

2. Your puppy is a great companion and playmate for your children! The human children can never complain about not having anyone to play with.

3. A dog doesn’t talk back- quite the opposite from some of your other housemates!

4. A puppy is way easier to potty train than a human child! You may have dirty carpets for a little while, but not dirty carpets and dirty underwear.

5. Dogs are more than happy to clean up any dropped food for you, and sometimes other gross messes as well!

6. You will never have to let meat go to waste with a good pup around, meat as well as many other foods and food scraps.

7. A dog can help you stay more active and get outside more, even when you don’t want to. They are way more motivating than a personal trainer!

8. Dogs and their hair can encourage you to clean your floors more often- that’s better motivation than your mother-in-law coming to town.

9. You always have someone excited to see you, especially after a long day when you just want to sit down and put your feet up.

10. Your dog can keep you warm at night and any other time you want to cuddle!

11. Dogs help protect your home and your family, even if their bark is worse than their bite!

12. With a dog you always have some form of free entertainment- whether it is playing with them or watching them be goofy.

13. Dogs can help improve your immune system and your children’s immune system- getting sick less is one of my favorite reasons to have a dog!

For more reasons to love your dog, check out this infographic I found via Pinterest!

Other Dog Related Posts:
Safety Collar Story and Review
DIY Beware of Dog Sign
Roxie’s Blanket
DIY Dog Bed 2.0
Dog Stuff Holder

The cute clip art used is drawn by Eva Bethel- and she has an entire site full of her awesome drawings! Go check out her work at Primlicious Graphics!

Journal Writing Ideas: A Loss of a Loved One

I love my post about Journal Writing. I’m sure I go back and read it more often than anyone else reads it. It helps remind me of things I can write about to try to stay happy and positive. It also can help me remember the good memories of things that are happening right now, things I may forget later.

With the recent heart-breaking loss of a close family member I have been trying to record some of my memories of them before they start to fade in my mind. I already start to realize I can’t remember things I want to. This list is to try to help me get the memories flowing and be able to write them down when I think of them. The little things through out the day spark my memory but they are helping me to remember all of the positive things and be grateful for the good memories instead of focusing on the future without them.

Your Loved Ones Favorites (Foods, Hobbies, Possessions, Places, Brands, Teams)

The Last (Positive) Thing Your Loved One Said to You

A Timeline of their Life

Their Favorite Sayings or Phrases

How their Actions or Words Impacted You (How you felt or what action you took because of them)

What Your Loved One Taught You

Trips You Went On Together and What You Did

What You Are Grateful to Your Loved One For (Any Personality Traits you inherited? Or anything they may have done for you or taught you. Or a time that they were there for you)

This post was written mostly for me, so if you have any ideas to add please let me know in a comment or an e-mail because I could use them. Thanks!

Pregnancy Announcements for Facebook

With our first pregnancy I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, so as soon as we got the news we wanted to post it to facebook, so that we could avoid calling everyone individually to tell them (and having hurt feelings because we called one person before another and so on). We called the new grandparents and then took this picture and posted it with the clues to facebook.

It was a cute way to announce it until I got a few people telling me I really did look pregnant. I was 5 weeks along and shouldn’t have looked any more pregnant than before! So we decided to find another way to tell everyone for the second pregnancy.

I searched all of my pins and decided to do something a little bit more unique. With a second child our Jeep will be full, so we went out to our closest wash (aka dry creek) and took this picture. Click on the picture to see it bigger!

The idea was a little more confusing but still super cute! Once I explained it in the comments everyone got it. At least no one’s calling me fat this time!

Other Jeep Related Articles:
4 Jeep Sewing Projects
Camping on the Mogollon Rim
5 Reasons I Love My Husband

Vinyl Car Stickers

I bought some vinyl, even though I don’t have a machine to cut it. I found out from Kim at A Girl and A Glue Gun that you can cut the vinyl like normal too. You can see her post here.

I also saw this picture on Facebook,(and I did an image search so I could pin it but didn’t find a good source. If you know where it came from let me know, I’ll give them credit!) and loved the idea. Instead of having stick figures of your family they had their guns instead.

I found some silhouettes of the guns that I wanted to represent us through another image search, and put them into paint and sized them and placed them closer together.

I printed it out and taped the paper with masking tape to the vinyl, and cut them out (cutting is a great tv-time activity!). Once they all were cut out I went outside (and yes, it’s still super hot in the middle of the day even though its September!) and tried not to burn my fingers too badly as I wiped the window down with alcohol.

I then peeled the bottom of the gun, and stuck just the bottom to the window. I used the popsicle stick the vinyl came with to push down as I peeled off the rest of the backing so that it stuck nicely to the window. There are still a couple of small air bubbles but it looks fine.

I’m really happy with them. The flag we have on there is vinyl as well, we bought it at a yard sale though. The pirate flag is in fact stolen from my son’s happy meal and I love that too. So I didn’t really need the personalization, my purple car sticks out anyway but it sure does look cool now!

More Personalization:
Decorated Suitcase
Embellished Knit Hats
Iron-On Tractor Shoes

He Drives Me Crazy!

The dog has taken over my bed and is snoring again. Not to mention he just had his first tick medicine so who knows if there are any ticks still living on him.

He bugs me to death sometimes but he is still an amazing addition to our family. Most of all he is a best friend to my one year old son.

I was thinking of all the things that drive me crazy and I remembered how my son’s face lit up this morning after he saw Buddy and waved excitedly. Someone that brings that much joy can take up too much of the bed and snore. Just like my son’s daddy that does the same thing, and gives my son the same happiness.