Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Reasons To Foster a Dog

I have a 2014 New Years Resolution for you. If you've always wanted to help animals but never took the plunge into fostering (or adoption), this is your year.  If you're doing the One Word thing, your word is "Foster", or courage, or fearless, or rescue, or care.... :)

You're stronger than you think you are. You can do this. 

Wick Photography
1. Because you are needed.  It saves lives.  Every animal taken in by a foster family, means there is more room at the shelter.  Every foster dog adopted, means we can take on another.  It's a cycle. Shelter-->Foster-->Adopted-->...then we go back for more.  See how it works?  We need you. 
Gorgeous Mr. Bingley was a former Puppy Mill stud 
2. Because you are a project oriented person and love a good challenge.  Seeing progress and recovery with a traumatized foster is the most rewarding thing you can imagine.  You'll have to think outside the box, trying different things to help each new dog.  You'll grow in knowledge and when you see a rescued puppy mill dog run for the first time (maybe in their life), your heart explodes.  
Marshall's so proud.  He wants me to watch how fast he can run. 
3. Because you are a great admirer of "feeling happy" and you like smiling. "Petting a dog for just 15 minutes releases the feel-good hormones serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, a University of Missouri–Columbia study says."  
Our Charlie...
4. Fostering a shelter animal can be healing.  My husband had been horribly ill with Graves Disease for over 2 years, possibly longer.  My husband felt like he was DYING. ALL. THE. TIME. We took the leap into fostering, and his health immediately improved.  His mood improved.  His spirit improved. His color improved. He was eventually announced "cured". I know the big turn around for him started the day we got our first foster, Charlie. 
Charlie was severally abused.  He bonded with Tim immediately and Tim started feeling better too.
They healed each other. 
5. Because you're bored, in need of entertainment.  Let's face it. Dogs are fun.  We are never bored.  We're always playing with our kids dogs and cats.  Who needs TV?  We've got our own comedy troupe right here in our house.  
6. Because the relationships in your home could use some strengthening.  I can affirm, this has been one of the most rewarding things my husband and I have ever done together.  Our home is an empty nest now. We've raised 2 fabulous human beings (you're welcome). Now what? We've both been living our own lives.  I had my interests and he had his.  We know, together, we are really good at projects and parenting.  When fostering dogs, both our awesome skills are used, bringing us back TOGETHER.  You have to communicate and work as a team to help each animal. 
Wick Photography
7. Because your children need to learn the world is not about them.  They learn compassion, servanthood, nurturing, responsibility and develop a generous spirit.  Having a sick or severally traumatized animal in your home forces you to think before you act.  I see how our son has learned to think responsibly towards pet ownership.  He sees the BIG picture.  Just because you're dying for a Boxer, doesn't mean you should have one, right now.  (If more people understood this...we wouldn't have such a big problem with pet abandonment)
My daughter's adopted English Bulldog, Bruiser
8. Because you need exercise and you're unmotivated.  Your dog needs to go to the bathroom. Now!  And a 2 minute walk isn't enough.  It needs to burn off that energy, learn how to be a dog outside of a cage, socialize with neighbors and sniff things. Voila! You've just burned calories and got some Vitamin D.  

9.  Because your other animals are open to new companions. Our dogs need socializing too and they enjoy having fur friends. We have 3 dogs, all have been rescued, with their own set of issues.  Having new dogs come and go has been good discipline and training for them.  They in turn, have been very good for incoming foster dogs, teaching and showing them the ropes.  Mill dogs especially have no idea how to "just be a dog".  

10. Because you're stronger than you think you are.  Of course, you bond with them. Yes, it hurts to give them up.  But you can give them to a new, beautifully perfect family and be at peace.  

This is Marshall's new family. He bonded immediately. We are so happy for all of them.
I have a 100 more good reasons to foster, but for the sake of brevity, I stopped at 10.  Do you have some to add?  I would love to hear from you, and discuss this subject further, so please leave a comment.  

If you have any questions about fostering, I'm happy to answer as honestly as I can. 

If you're interested in fostering, you can call your local animal shelter and find out more.  Also, if you have a favorite breed of dog or cat, there are specific organizations all over.  You can volunteer for them.  We volunteer for ESRA and rescue Springer Spaniels.  


I hope you'll follow me and keep up with our fostering shenanigans.  :)  Lots of good times, with occasional animal drama 

Cats and Quilts go together like Peas and Carrots.


Sharing with these Sweet bloggers:
Mom's The Word ~ Making Your Home Sing
Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Block Party
Say not Sweet Anne ~ Sweet Sharing Monday
DIY Home Sweet Home ~ More the Merrier Monday
Create With Joy ~ Inspire Me Monday
I Should Be Mopping the Floor ~ Inspiration Monday
Rain On A Tin Roof ~ Give Me the Goods
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ Tuesday's Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Our Table For Seven ~ Share Your Stuff Tuesday
Life On Lake Shore Drive ~ Last Bouquet of Talent

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Ornament Storage

When you love vintage Christmas, you tend to collect a lot of single pieces, trinkets and baubles here and there while junking. Few of my Christmas ornaments were actually found in their original "ornament box".  What about our heirloom pieces that have been in the family for decades?  They need a safe place to live too.

These ideas seem so clever.  I have to do this.  Too many of my precious pieces are breaking each year.  They are not easily or inexpensively replaced either.  I hope this is helpful. 

Image from Martha Stewart
Laura, at Come Together Kids took this Martha Stewart idea, and made one herself.  (Come Together Kids is a nice blog for parents with young children. Go visit her and say hello)  

Photo credit belongs to
Photo credit belongs to
Photo Credit belongs to Vintage Modern Wife
Emily, at Merry Pad, deconstructed a box and made a container with individual slots for each special ornament in her collection.  This is a smart way to utilize cardboard, which otherwise would end up in the trash. (Merry Pad is a clever, inspiring blog, helping one to embrace a DIY lifestyle. Go say hi).

Photo credit belongs to Merry Pad
Now this idea of an empty oatmeal storage container, from Saxon (is that not the coolest name, ever!) is a very good idea.  We go through a lot of oatmeal and these boxes are round and sturdy enough.  Her blog, Let's Drink Coffee Darling looks like it could be a newer blog, so go say hello to her and show her some love and support. 

Photo credit belongs to Let's Drink Coffee Darling
I seriously think Becky's idea is a favorite, found at Organizing Made Fun, but I don't shop at Costco.  I wonder how I could find fruit containers like this.  I will have to keep my eyes and ideas open. 

Photo credit belongs to Organizing Made Fun
This is also a favorite idea, which I actually use, however, it's best for smaller ornaments.  Your larger baubles won't fit in an egg carton.  
The original source for this photo I believe, belongs to Better Homes and Gardens, but I couldn't locate the link.
I did find the photo on Pinterest though. 

You can just go buy one (or two or three)

Personally, I love shopping through Amazon. We're Prime, so I don't have to pay shipping, most of the time, and I don't have to leave the house to go shopping.  Which leaves more time for sewing. LOL

What do you think?  How do you store your ornaments?  I'm open to more good ideas, which I hope you'll share in the comments section below.

I would love to meet you "face to face", at least through the blogiverse so follow my blog and other social media places to your right------->

Pooh's thought bubble, "Can we be done now?  I'm sick of Christmas.
Humans are crazy". 

Be blessed and Be a Blessing

Advocare Plug for my Daughter

This is a shameless plug for my beautiful daughter who has recently become an Advocare Distributor.  We have loved this company and their products for years and years.  I'm so excited because now I can get the "Mom Discount".  Woohoo!!!!

Click on her Advocare Website.  Buy from her. Support her. Sign up under her.  Why?  Because she's an incredible, amazing, wonderful, beautiful, bright, hard working, fearless, courageous human being.

And good people deserve good things happening in their life.  

This is my baby girl Allyson and her sweet as sugar husband William. God love them. They are a treasure.
Support my kid!!!!!!!  

Be blessed and Be a Blessing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Family Springer Spaniel Christmas Photos

Marshall Waitforit....this was his name.
My son did that. Do you watch, "How I met your Mother"?  LOL
If you don't, then nevermind. You won't get the joke of his last name. 
(Let's stay connected) ------->

These are some of our family photos taken this fall. 
If you need an affordable Tampa, Florida photographer, 
I have tons of photos to share but I'm waiting 
until after Christmas as many are gifts for family.

My husband and I, with our Springers. Marshall, the pretty one out front was our more recent foster to place, but he was a part of our family for a few months so he made the "family photo cut" he was the only one being good for photos.  LOL
Such a beautiful dog.  We miss him.
Charlie and Olivia are to your left.

My husband and Marshall
(Follow my blog!! I love new (and old) friends). -------->

We volunteer for ESRA(English Springer Resuce America)
and have fostered 4 dogs this year. 
2 were rehomed into perfect and wonderful families.
2 were kept by us. :) 
Charlie and Olivia are our newest fur babies this year.
That's NOT a Foster Fail. 
It's just that our home turned out to be 
the perfect new homes for them. 
This photo is why we had to keep Charlie.  He fell soooooooooo hard for Tim. Charlie was extremely abused, possibly tortured.  He was found on the streets in Alabama.  We were his 3rd foster home.  It was time to give Charlie some peace and security.  We didn't have the heart to rip him away from Tim.  They are the cutest "couple".  If you look closely, you can see a small, thinning patch under his right eye.  He was burned.  We don't know who burned him or why, but he is covered in burn scars.  And beating scars across his back.  Charlie has come a long way.  We're so proud of his recovery and his new found trust with humans.
(You can follow our English Springer Spaniel shenanigans to your right in Instagram)-------->>>
Charlie is 100 % water dog and he would swim himself to exhaustion and drown if we let him.  He swam for 45 minutes one day and I finally had to make him get out so we could go home. Olivia likes the water ok, and Marshall hated it.  Charlie looooooves it.  I wish we had better water for him to swim.  I'm so afraid of Alligators in Florida.  ughh...
This is my little angel Olivia. She was kept in a cage for 20 hours a day.
Now she can run free and get cuddles whenever she wants them.

If you are interested in adopting a Springer Spaniel
please view the ESRA web page and keep an eye out for the 
perfect dog for your family.
If you want to learn more about English Springer Spaniels there are websites and books.  
They are cheerful family pets and I love their size.  
They aren't too big and powerful and
they aren't too small and annoying.   
I'm not opposed to GOOD, MORAL, ETHICAL breeders, 
but I strongly urge everyone to 
Think Adoption First. 
sooo, sooo, soooooooo many good, beautiful affectionate 
dogs of all breeds 
anxious to love your families. 

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Are you on Twitter?

I LOVE Twitter.  
I Tweet mostly nerdy, bookish material. 
Or quilty, crafty, coupon-esque, fabricish, housewifey, domestic communique
Or whatever I feel like Tweeting.  

If you're not on Twitter, it's easy to get an account. 
Maybe you'll like it. 
You might like it.
You'll probably like it. 

I saw this on Twitter last night and it's my new favorite quote. 

"I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee.  
I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan."

Be blessed. 

Rolled and Cut Sugar Cookie Help

With the help of Pinterest, I did further 
Sugar Cookie research today, 
always looking for a way to make the perfect cookie, 
more perfect. 
(How did we ever live without Pinterest)???

I found some helpful ideas and links below 

Melissa has some practical tips, such as 
not over working your dough 
and working in small batches.
I think I tend to divide dough in half 
and work too much at a time.  
This will help.
Photo from Melissa's blog and also Country Woman Magazine.

Found over at I Can Teach My Child uses 
Sour Cream in her recipe.
I've been meaning to try this idea. 
I'm sure it adds a dreamy texture to an already dreamy cookie.
Found this picture at Jenae's Blog. You won't be disappointed. Go say hi.

Design Eat Repeat is a fabulously gorgeous and delicious blog.
 She will give you a quick lesson on how to make 
She has several ideas I haven't thought of, such as using powdered sugar as your sugar.   

Photo from Melissa blog, Design Eat Repeat. Be sure to follow her.


This very wise blogger, Mom Advice, trusts her 
She mentions using SUPER fine sugar, 
which makes perfect sense.  
She refined her sugar further in her blender. Genius. 
Photo credit belongs to Mom Advice blog. Stop by and have a look around.

Make Bake Celebrate is another delicious blog 
with a VERY helpful 
My daughter used their recipe and tips today and has been raving all day long with texted pictures.
She is a new wife and wants to make pretty memories 
for her sweet husband.  
Her motivation and love for him, inspires me.
Photo credit belongs to my daughter.  

No great tip here, other than I LOVED this photo from 
All the different shades of green sprinkles 
make my heart sing Christmas carols. 
Gonna do this!

And another Better Homes and Garden cookie...
Oh. And one more link I thought was sweet!
What kid wouldn't love Sugar Cookie Play Dough
And no, you don't eat it, you just pretend. 
I bet it smells delicious! 
This is such a neat idea.  I have to find a child who would enjoy this gift. 
Go say hello to Meagan at Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Sharing with this pretty peoples:

I hope you've found these links helpful. 
They have given me lots of options and ideas.
Be sure to click on the links and go make new friends in the blog-iverse.

I would love it if you became a NEW FOLLOWER here at Sweet Woodruffs.
Stay in touch on 

Pooh says hey and wants to know if we will give him a cookie covered in Turkey gravy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy ~ Be at Peace

Don't hurry.  Don't stress. Don't melt down.
Be at peace!
Enjoy your children.  See the magic on their faces? 
Turn on Tchaikovsky, as loud as your neighbors can stand. 
Go outside and dance to the Sugar Plum Fairy. 
Feel the sunshine on your face.

Breathe deeply. 

In this magical photo are my niece and nephew.  A poorly edited photo, but the magic is still there. 
Blessings to you, this weekend before Christmas. 

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful.  
~Norman Vincent Peale~

You haven't really lived until you've seen 
Baryshnikov dance!
Click here for 1977 version. Own a piece of historical Christmas magic and educate your children about Ballet, freedom, the cold war...or you can just stay on lighter subjects and stick with Christmasy topics. LOL

Sharing with:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Sugar Cookie Tradition

The Christmas tradition I loved the most was 
making rolled sugar cookie cut outs every year.  
It was a big production. Mom made the 
dough the night before.
My sister and her son
We cut and baked them the next morning.
Then the icing and decorating began. 
They don't have to be perfect!  
Just make the memory and enjoy the company.
The hardest part was not eating them as fast as we made them. 
The goal was to have some to eat on Christmas Eve. 
There were lots of grandparents around on 
Sugar Cookie baking day. 
It was a multi-generational family celebration.  
I especially remember my Great Grandma Ellen and how much she smiled on Sugar Cookie day.  
She was widowed and lonely maybe, 
so it was a big delight for her
to spend the day with her great grandchildren.  

We always pulled the best and most beautifully decorated ones for Santa.  He got our prettiest Sugar Cookies on a pretty plate with a glass of milk.  (Lucky guy!)
I've tried dozens of different recipes and I 
always go back to mom's. 
Is it the memory that tastes so good 
or is it the actually sugar and vanilla yumminess, I taste?  
I love how humbly delicious unpretentious cookies taste.  
They taste like HOME.  
Like MAMA. 
And I guarantee you, it's the orange peel that makes the difference.  
If you enjoy your sugar cookie recipe, 
add 1/2 tsp fresh orange peel next time and see how you like it.

What are your favorite traditions and cookie memories?

Check out this blog Entry where I share 
 Cut Out Sugar Cookie Round Up links, 
tips and recipes.  You'll enjoy it.  :)

Thank you for stopping by.  
Be blessed and Be a Blessing to others.
Choose Joy.

  I hope you'll comment, follow and come back soon!  
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