Wonderful Wednesday #21

WW21

It’s been a long, long time since my last Wonderful Wednesday.

I’m hoping I don’t have to send back my membership card just yet. I think my excuse of a puppy running rampant around my house is a good one though.

I have quite a bit of wonderful to chat about, so let’s get straight into it.

My Bonny Bears.

Also know as: the Mother-In-Law makes her owns bears – and rabbits, badgers, elephants and one time, a banana – which I think are really great and that some of you might like too. She even has her own Instagram account, that’s how hip my MIL is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 3.28.42 pmMug cakes.

This deserves a spot of wonderful all to itself.

Delicious, gooey, chocolate-y mug cake. With custard.

Comfort food at its finest.

Also Birds custard powder: vegan. Win.

Finding my (furry) feet.

Dare I say it, but I think I might have got to grips with this whole puppyhood thing. Until I broke my foot at least.

But prior to that, there were a few mornings where I woke up and didn’t feel like I was neck-deep in unrealistic expectations and questionable advice from the internet, and that I might just have a handle on raising a dog. Just.

Now, I’m a little scuppered with the foot thing, but there’s still plenty of things to work on in the house, and it gives Kris plenty of opportunity to work with Moxster for a change.

Still, I’m impatient to get moving and training again. Can’t have my little lady’s standards slipping, we wouldn’t want to embarrass ourselves at the dog school.

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Hammy dearest.

More pet talk. My little Chopster is doing fantastic. A while back, I mentioned that he’d developed testicular cancer and after a lot of thought, I decided to book him in for surgery to have them removed. Since he’s in such good health, despite being over two years old, there was a really good chance that he’d do great with the surgery and removing his testicles would cure him of the cancer too.

He had his surgery last month and he’s been right as rain ever since. He’s back to his chirpy self. He gets up earlier, runs in his wheel more, has stopped drinking so much and just looks pretty damn sexy again. Even his hair has thickened up and gone back to being a nice even black instead of looking a bit washed out and brown. I was genuinely shocked at how much difference the surgery made to him, if I’m being completely honest. I should have done it sooner.

Shockingly, he also lost 20g in weight after the tumour was removed as it had also grown up into his abdomen as well as outside his body. He recovered amazingly from the surgery and took his antibiotics and painkillers like the champ that he is.

I couldn’t be happier, and I’m looking forward to many more happy times with my main man.

Jolly good weather.

It’s Spring and the weather has been (mostly) gorgeous. Damn, I love spring time.

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The return of the mojo.

My mojo has taken a serious beating with puppyhood. All mojos, not even just my blogging one. My reading mojo, my photography mojo, my sleep mojo, just my mojo mojo, they were all too exhausted and stressed to the edge of sanity but now they are making a come back.

In the last few weeks I’ve picked up my camera again, I’ve lost myself in a book for a few hours, I’ve cooked something that wasn’t instant noodles, crackers and cheese or a mug cake (none of which really constitute cooking).

It feels good to mojo my way through my day again.

Other mojos still to return include: the smoothie making mojo, the keeping my house clean mojo and the self-confidence mojo. But we’re getting there. In fact, I’m going to make a smoothie for breakfast tomorrow. Those bananas won’t eat themselves.

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Not instant noodles.

I could be embarrassed about the number of times I have eaten instant noodles for lunch or dinner in the last month or so, but that doesn’t really scream strong, independent woman. It’s better to embrace it and move on.

With the return of the cooking mojo, we’ve actually enjoyed plenty of other tasty things like: this sweet and sour tofu recipe (many times), lots of vegan cheese, mac and cheese, spaghetti Bolognese (comfort food has been a bit of a theme lately), leftover pumpkin soup from the freezer and plenty of pasta. Pasta has kept us fed and warm on many occasion lately.

Friendly folk.

Isn’t it nice when people are just friendly? Apparently owning a dog makes you infinitely more likely to be spoken to by strangers, especially in Belgium. Usually, as just a person I would be nice and invisible, these days as a person plus dog I’m still sort of invisible but they sure like to talk to my dog a lot, then sometimes they notice I am there too.

And some of the people have been quite nice. I’ve actually had a nice time talking to people and being a bit sociable. Shocking, I know.

We’ve made some friends at the dog school, people who are even willing to do a little translation for us to help with the classes. We’ve met an old couple who invited my into their home for tea on morning as I went by their house (we have met before in the park, so it wasn’t too unexpected), and then there’s the one time chit-chats too which I’ve also enjoyed.

Oh and I can’t forget the tweets and messages from people checking in to make sure I wasn’t dead. That’s always appreciated.

I think that’s everything for now. There is more, but I really want to go to bed and read my book so I’ll leave it at this. Happy midweek to one and all! Share your wonderful in the comments below! 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!

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Wonderful Wednesday #20 || The Puppy Edition

WWPuppy

Right now there is nothing more wonderful to me than that furry face.

As promised last week, this is the puppy edition of Wonderful Wednesday. It’s time to make some introductions!

Not-dog-people, it is probably time to leave.

Dog-people, meet Moxie. Moxie, meet the Internet.

So yeah, this is Moxie and the start of our next great adventure! Or to give her her full name: Borders Make My Day Partner Around The World, but that’s a bit of a mouthful and only reserved for special occasions.

This post is mostly just so I can cement this moment and ogle at puppy photos but it should probably have a bit of context too. After all, I probably kept this whole venture a bit too hush, hush and now it looks as though I did that dreaded thing of getting a puppy for Christmas. I assure you, we did not. Even if she was born just a few days shy of Christmas.

So, a little back story and then on to the photos.

Pets are not new to us, having both been around pets for our whole lives and also having pets ourselves in pre-Belgium times. We considered a cat when we first moved to Belgium and then decided a dog would probably suit us better. Since we didn’t have the time to dedicate to a dog, we opted for a Choppy instead. He’s still my number one man no matter how cute that puppy face is.

At the beginning of last year we knew my job would be coming to an end so we started thinking again whether we’d like to get a dog. With all the cycling and camping we like to do, it seemed like a good fit and some extra company.

From there I researched (“obsessively” if Kris was telling this tale) dogs, dog breeds, dogs and camping, dogs and cycling, dogs and travel, dog training. Pretty much dogs and whatever Google suggested as the relevant search term. I researched shelters in Belgium and I researched breeders as well. Our first thoughts were: energetic and medium-sized. From there we reached a Border Collie, or Border Collie-esque dog. Then came a lot of research about Border Collies and a lot of trawling forums to see what information was out there. In the end, it was a joint decision to get a Border Collie puppy from a breeder.

It took us a few months to find our breeder, and around August time we sent off some emails and got a chance to visit. A couple of weeks after that we even got to watch one of the Dog Frisbee workshops that our breeder and her friend puts on which we’ll be attending in March with Moxie. After that, we went on to the waiting list and kept our fingers crossed that we’d be offered a puppy.

On December 23rd the puppies were born and the next day we were offered one. And the rest, they say, is puppy visits every weekend for the next eight weeks and spending far too much time on the litters Facebook group looking at photos and videos to keep up with them throughout the week.

I think it is time for photos. That is far too much chatter. All in all, there was about a years worth of solid research and decision-making and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

On to all things wonderful and all things puppy.

The Gorgeous Parents

You can’t have puppies without them! Mummy Babz and Daddy Chubby.

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New Born Puppies

Be still my heart, aren’t they just amazing little beings. Also, much to everyone’s surprise it was an even split of 3 black and 3 red, and all girls!

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Moxie’s First Week Of Life

Where she just flopped about, drank a lot of milk and then went to sleep.

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Moxie’s Second Week Of Life

You see where this post is going, right? Save yourself whilst you still can.

Week two, was more sleeping, slurping and our first introductions! Although, at this point we did not actually know that Moxie was Moxie. She was just simply “Yellow” for the time being. She became Moxie at 6 weeks.

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Moxie’s Third Week Of Life

At least I’m not filling this post with idle commentary.

Week three was the week where everyone started to get chubby, open their eyes and start playing. Week three was also the time when Grandma Sim stepped in to help out Mummy Babz.

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Moxie’s Fourth Week Of Life

At what point in this post am I just talking to myself? I don’t mind, this has to be recorded somewhere and this is a good a place as any.

Week four was all things playtime, food and napping.

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Moxie’s Fifth Week Of Life

Week five, that’s where we discovered that it is damn cold outside in January but actually a lot of fun. Oh and napping. There is always napping.

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Moxie’s Sixth Week Of Life

I think I am taking this too far. Or maybe I haven’t taken it far enough. If anything, it has reminded my how to spell “fourth” again.

Week six was all about getting to know the world some more, lots of playtime, working on her leash skills for the big garden centre visit and officially being crowned “Moxie”.

It wasn’t until this week that it was revealed which puppies were going to which owners. A little surprise based on our preference (which was a rather laid back “a black and white one please”) and which puppy our breeder thought would be the best fit. We had faith in her decision and could not be happier with our Yellow girl.

Week six also has some of my favourite photos too.

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Moxie’s Seventh Week Of Life

Officially too far. But, that face. That. Face.

Week seven was all about photo shoots, the big garden centre visit, more playtime and our first family photo and the mad rush to get the house ready to bring our girl home.

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And that’s it. I regret nothing. That is my girl and I am in love. Now, I just need to figure out how to incorporate, what I predict to be, an excessive amount of dog photos into this blog, because I don’t want to miss a single day of this girl. 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us ragged bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!

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Wonderful Wednesday #19

WW19

Did I miss last week?

Goes off to check. 

Apparently so. I like to take the odd week off here and there. All the time, apparently.

I have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done before a certain furry friend comes home on Friday, this blog post being one of those to-dos, along with sorting the paper recycling out, rearranging the house and deciding on the final place for the crate and making a couple of doggy DIYs!

Let’s get to this!

The Big Reveal

Easily the highlight of the last two weeks! The big reveal of which furry friend we’ll be bringing home this Friday! THIS FRIDAY! Time has flown by, but we are feeling prepared and oh so excited.

Whilst we wait, why not have a guess at which of these gorgeous girls will be coming home with us: left, centre or right. Or to use their unofficial puppy names “Pink, Yellow or Purple”.

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Following on from the big reveal, the next highlight was the big garden centre visit with all the puppies, the puppy-parents-to-be, Mummy and Daddy and, of course, our supervising breeder.

Kris and I travelled to Maastricht for an afternoon of pottering about the garden centre whilst the puppies introduced themselves to the big wide world of flower pots, fake grass and riding in trolleys. It was amazing. It was impossible not to smile as our girl jumped about excitedly at all the different things and then went into full toddler-mode once she was too tired but too stubborn to admit it was nap time.

Once we’d all stopped for a cuppa at the cafe though, she soon found herself a comfortable spot under the table and was dead to the world.

Oh puppies. How I love thee.

What we did not love though was trekking the two hours home on trains and busses with 20kg of dog food though. I do not recommend running for a train with a 20kg weight, not one bit. That was defintely not wonderful.

Coming next week: Wonderful Wednesday The Doggy Edition. With plenty of photos (I kid you not, I have already amassed around 150 photos from the first eight weeks of her life!) and all the necessary introductions. Probably not all interesting for those who are not dog-people.

Afternoon walks

Kris had last Thursday off work so we decided to make the most of it and head to the supermarket when it wasn’t busy and then get out for an afternoon walk into town. A little cold and a little overcast, but it was nice to pick up my camera again and get out in the fresh air. Bonus wonderful-ness to finding a slice of town that we haven’t been to before.

It also appears that Spring might even be in the air, I spotted some shoots coming up on our walk and the Sun even came out this week.

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Street Art

We don’t have much in the way of a Street Art Game in our town, but sometimes you come across some interesting bits. Like a giant whale. Or multicoloured zebra crossings.

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Santa Clarita Diet

I saw this mentioned a couple of times in lasts weeks Wonderful Wednesdays so I watched the trailer, showed it to the husband and then we ended up watching four episodes in a row.

It’s not bad.

It definitely makes a change from all the other TV we watch that takes itself far too seriously. What with Supernatural and the constant battle of who is in more danger than who and who can die this season and then there’s The Flash where the entire premise of the show is: it’s Barry’s fault and he needs to run faster.

So yeah, I’m down for some light-hearted TV time over dinner.

Mo Money, Mo Food

And a desperate attempt to introduce the usual food talk with something witty.

Foodie mentions this week go to:

Everything British. Last weekend we went to the British Store and bought ourselves three of almost everything. I know have a healthy supply of Bourbon biscuits, Bisto gravy granules, crumpets, Rich Tea, custard powder, vanilla extract and vinegar. As well as Linda McCartney sausage rolls, curly fries and some Hovis best of both bread. It’s a good time to be British in my kitchen.

PB2 Powder. I’m a big peanut butter fan and it was only a matter of time before I ordered some peanut butter powder just to give it a try. Turns out, it’s pretty good. So far I have enjoyed it in smoothies and on my Wheetabix, for a subtle peanut-y flavour. Two for two with the PB2 original and PB2 chocolate. Next step: trying out the official instructions for actually making peanut butter from the powder. Come back next week to find out how that goes.

BBQ Sauce. BBQ sauce on pizza, BBQ sauce in my burgers, BBQ sauce nowhere else because I can’t think of any other ideas.

More tofu scramble. Specifically this recipe. It was delicious.

Pancakes. Pancakes for dinner, like the 27-year-old adult I am. Does anyone know when the official pancake-eating-day is? I just assumed since lemon juice and pancake mix are in the seasonal aisle that it must be time to eat my weight in pancakes whatever the day.

Mo money, mo potatoes. I thought about being more specific but everything potato related has been great lately. Wedges? Great. Baked? Great. Mashed? Great. The mashed potatoes even turned into a damn good Shepard’s pie-thing that I whipped together for Kris’ birthday.

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The Little Things

Like being able to access the toilet in the hallway now that I have sorted out all the paper recycling. Or the new recycling scheme we have for “soft plastics” which basically means I can now recycling items made of plastic instead of only plastic bottles. Then there are Skype chats with Mum and the Bro, the Beauty and the Beast trailer, new books and the expensive orange juice just for a change. Don’t forget working out that you are not being charged double for your boiler service and it was just a mistake on their part and that glorious time after 1am when Sir Shouts A Lot the neighbour finally shuts up.

All wonderful things.

And that’s all the wonderful for today. Don’t be shy, share some wonderfulness this way! 

Don’t forget to check out all the other Wonderful Wednesday-ers starting with the inspiration Sally, and then the rest of us raggedy bunch:  Kate, Helen, Jo, Cat, Michelle, EmmaSamLauraPetaSarah, JasminEleanor, Mimmi, Isabelle, Martina, Lynsey & another Sarah!

FOLLOW ALONG HERE :: BLOGLOVIN | FEEDLY | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM