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

Why I Love Not Being Pregnant

Things have been a little quiet on the blog because just over a month ago I had my second little one. Unlike last time I am very, very sleep deprived. I didn’t have to wake up to take care of an older child last time and I could actually follow the advice of ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. This is another reason why I am glad I have chosen to permanently stop having kids. I know someday that will make me sad for short amounts of time here and there when I see other cute babies so I decided to take my own advice and write a list of good things about this change. (See Also: Journal Writing Ideas and Bookmark Printables)

Why I Love Not Being Pregnant

  • Hot Showers. End of story.
  • No more heartburn and eating tums like candy, even though some flavors are delicious.
  • I can see (and shave!) “downstairs” again.
  • Gums don’t bleed every time I brush.
  • Bending over is possible! So is seeing my toes.
  • Less Constipation (TMI I know, sorry)
  • I don’t need Life Alert in case I fall and can’t get up.
  • I could control my own weight, if Oreo cookies weren’t so delicious.
  • My feet and ankles aren’t swollen anymore, not that I could really see them when they were.
  • Bathroom breaks aren’t every 5 minutes and wearing depends is no longer necessary.
  • I can drink (and eat) whatever I would like! Coffee and Straw-ber-rita’s have been teasing me for months!
  • Hugs are no longer awkward. Or are no longer awkward because of me.

I may add more to this list as I think of more reasons I am happy to not be pregnant, or if you leave a comment reminding me of more reasons. If I update this post (or any others I will be sure post about it on Facebook or Twitter!

Journaling Tips and Entry Ideas Printable Bookmarks

Staying Happier by Keeping a Journal Bookmark Printables

Lately my Journal Writing Tips and Entry Ideas List has been getting buckets of love on Pinterest. Thanks for the love everyone! I really do hope that my ideas help keep some positivity and happiness in your life. To try to help give you (and myself) reminders of the tips and ideas of what to write in your journal I created these printable bookmarks.

Journaling Tips and Ideas Bookmark Printable

These bookmarks would be great to put in your Journal for those times that you want to write but feel negative, or stumped. Putting this bookmark in a journal would be a great gift idea to cheer someone up as well.


I have to brag- the pictures used in the backgrounds were all taken by me! I know that with my little point and shoot camera photography is mostly luck but I am so proud of the beauty I was able to capture! My last camping post and my Arizona Valentine’s are proof of that too 🙂

Free Journaling Ideas Printable

Of course, the best inspiration that these stemmed from is on the Original Article- Journaling Tips and Journal Entry Ideas. I do go back and update it every time I think of another topic or idea that would add some inspiration for someone, just as I did when I linked up the Journal Writing Ideas After the Loss of a Loved One. I always post my updates via Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin’ or Pinterest if you are interested in knowing when I have added something to the list.

Tips and Entry Ideas for Journaling

Feel free to print and share these bookmarks as much as you want! Thank you for doing so- I feel proud to have put together something people like! They turn out best being printed on cardstock or thicker paper, but you could be creative with them too!

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!

The Safety Collar Story

National Love Your Pet Day-February 20th

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day. I really love my dog, Roxie but today I wanted to take the time to talk about my favorite Pet-Lover and the story of his business, The Safety Collar. My Uncle Glenn was the biggest pet-lover I will ever know. He loved his puppies so much; the story of his business shows how much he loves them.

This last summer The Safety Collar came onto the market. This collar was created by my Uncle Glenn after he and his puppy, Tasha experienced a tragedy.

Glenn, Nikki and Tasha
Glenn out Hiking with Nikki and Tasha

My Uncle Glenn and Tasha were out at an empty parking lot trying to do some off-leash training before it was too dark. Distracted, Tasha ran off across the parking lot at the wrong moment. A lady cut across the empty parking lot at the same time as Tasha was running free. Seeing the car, Glenn chased Tasha, waving his hands in the air hoping to alert the lady driving of Tasha’s presence. Unfortunately he was unable to alert the driver, and she ran into Tasha.

Tasha did survive, she had to endure months and months of rehab to get her leg and hip back to a healthy working condition. Now she can run and play, along with Nikholai, Glenn’s older dog. She does still get hip pain and will sometimes start to limp after a long day.

Going through the scare of seeing his dog hit, even when she was able to survive was traumatizing. Glenn didn’t want anyone else to ever have to go through an experience like that (or one with a less-happy ending) and he was inspired to create The Safety Collar.

He didn’t start off wanting to make an invention, Glenn started off by shopping. He was looking for a collar that provided the most possible visibility and one that he could leave on his dogs all the time so that they would be safe anytime they went out. He found collars that would help light up, but most didn’t have the quality and strength it would take to truly illuminate his dogs. Glenn went through tons of research and many revisions before he created today’s version of The Safety Collar.

The Safety Collar Infographic

My dog wears her collar all the time. We love it. It’s such a durable collar that she can wear it all the time. It’s water resistant- so I can even keep it on her in the bath. It’s a good time to wash the collar too, any dirt comes off with water and a tiny bit of soap.

Here in Arizona, the summers are so hot that the only real time to play outside is when it’s getting dark out. I love that my dog has her collar on because she usually is right next to my son so I can see him too. The collars are bright enough to light up anything near them as well as them- when walking I can see the ground illuminated beneath us. It’s nice to know that any passers-by would be able to see my dog as well as me.

The Safety Collar in use at Dusk
Roxie wearing her Green/Yellow Safety Collar at Dusk

The light-sensor mode is an awesome feature as well. It’s perfect for when I’m doing stuff around the house and going in and out because Roxie follows me everywhere. We don’t have to waste battery power when there is enough light to see her, whether its inside the house or when we stop somewhere well-lit on our walks.

The battery power is great for something that shines so brightly. It will last atleast 6-8 hours when it’s on constantly, but as I have been bringing them to different Farmer’s Markets and shows lately they have proven to last much longer. Yesterday I was at a Farmer’s Market for 9 hours and many of the collars were still charged up after I packed everything up and brought them home. I had to unpack and turn everything off.

If you would like to look into The Safety Collar more, please head over to the website, http://thesafetycollar.com. From there you will be able to place an order for any size and color that you would like! Getting a Safety Collar to help keep your pets seen is a great way to show your dog that you love them, especially for National Love Your Pet Day on February 20th! The Safety Collar is also on Amazon.com. If you have bought a collar I would love your review on Amazon!

The Safety Collar is also on Facebook. I post there where we are traveling to show off the collars next- if you are in Arizona especially we get to go to some cool events. “Like” The Safety Collar on Facebook to find out where we will be next and if we are offering any current specials!

The Safety Collar Giveaway

For the week of National Love Your Pet Day we are having a giveaway. The winner will be able to receive The Ultra Safety Collar in a size and color of their choice. The giveaway will go until Monday February 24th 2014. Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More Ways to Love Your Pet:
Take them Camping and 4 Wheeling
Make a Dog Bed!
Take them to a Pet Expo
Make them a Blanket

An Arizona Valentine's Day Card

This last weekend I had Valentine’s Day on my mind as we were out in the desert four-wheeling in our Jeep. I had to take some pictures of heart-shaped cacti to use as a cute and funny Valentine’s day cards. I also made sure to take plenty of other pictures of the different cacti in Arizona. You can see them over at Arizona Mama in my Unofficial Guide to Arizona Cacti article.

Love Hurts Valentine's Day Card

Love May Hurt Valentine's Day Card

My husband is going to be so surprised to get this as his Valentine’s Day Card. You know, seeing as he had to pull over so I could take these pictures and then listen to me while I made them. But hey, it’s the thought that counts right?

Love Hurts but I Love You Valentine's Day Card

Feel free to print out any of these pictures to turn it into a Valentine’s Day Card. They should print well as a 4×6, if you have any problems with them let me know in a comment or an e-mail, because I would love for you to be able to use them! You can also download them and send them in an email or something too! If you need help downloading these images, scroll down and I will have directions at the bottom of the post!

This year I wasn’t able to get Christmas cards made or sent out in time for Christmas, so we should be sending out these Valentine’s Day cards instead. The only thing I’m waiting on to send out our Valentine’s Day cards is that I need to take a new family picture- the one I used for this one was from October and we don’t have any that are more recent. I’m not sure how that happened, I only have thousands of pictures on my computer but none of them have just the 3 of us.

Valentine's Day Card

Directions for Downloading Images (PC Only):
Right-click the image you would like to save with the mouse. Select ‘Save Image As…’  Choose where you would like to save the image and press ‘Save’

Looking for More Valentine’s Day Ideas?
Valentine’s Day Tradition for Kids
DIY Mustache Valentine (And a fun Photo Bomb)
5 Reasons I Love My Husband
Love Wall Hanging

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!